Spotlight: ASEAN nations beef up cyber defenses

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Air Force Cyber Command online for future operationsGovernments, it is widely agreed, must follow a mandate to protect their citizens.

How much privacy they strip away from our online lives in order to shield us from “invisible” cyber threats was at the center of a discussion held on June 21 via Twitter by Inside Investor, joined by policy experts, business bloggers and the ASEAN Secretariat.

In recent weeks, governments across the globe have reacted to former CIA employee Edward Snowden’s leaked report that the US has been manning a global online and communications surveillance network.

The incident has reminded the world that cyber intrusions and espionage is an unavoidably entwined reality in our hyper-connected world.

The ASEAN Secretariat tweeted that a number of member nations have already rushed forward with new cyber security policies:

ASEAN-Tweet1

 

But in ASEAN’s efforts to be more vigilant to protect governmental bodies and their citizens, a policy expert from the Philippines joining the discussion made sure to not forgot issues of privacy.

“The extent of intrusion to individual privacy is moderated by urgency and exigent circumstances, but must not violate human rights,” tweeted Drexx Laggui, principal consultant at the National Cyber Security Office in the Philippines.

The Philippines has faced the most voiced opposition from its public concerning cyber crime laws, with journalists winning a battle in late May that rolled back the government’s authority to monitor online threats without a permit, now largely limited to “organised crime.”

The northeastern-most ASEAN nation has become one of the leaders in cyber security policy in the region, but if other countries, such as Singapore, which hosts data centers for many multinational corporations, united under ASEAN, costs could be saved.

‪The Philippines spent millions setting up its C4ISTAR programme [an acronym for IT surveillance systems], when ‪ASEAN could pool resources,” tweeted Oliver Ellerton of Inside Investor.

Indonesia’s decision to a deploy a “cyber army,” a unit of uniformed IT specialists, to monitor communications and the internet was also discussed, namely whether the choice was too militaristic in appearance and could harm privacy rights.

“Governments have different approaches to national security because of different management styles,” tweeted Laggui.

“I can’t say much on other nation’s cyber army, but realistically the actions they can do depend on their leaders,” he added.

Adding to the thought, Laurence Bradford, a blogger based in Thailand, tweeted: “I really dislike the name ‘cyber army.’ Has a sci-fi flick connotation. As such a new initiative, we will have to see it unravel.”

A proxy for war?

In the era of the unmanned drone, there are fears that cyber crime could mushroom into malicious attacks that equate to acts of war.

In the discussion, the ASEAN Secretariat tweeted that less developed nations were at the greatest risk of such malicious acts:

tweet

 

However, cyber attacks are not about physical harm, but the absorption of top-secret data that can be used against sovereign nations, especially to disable government bodies, banks and telecommunications networks.

“I think cyber war is more for gathering documents than disabling infrastructure,” tweeted a participant using the Twitter handle @thevikas.

The event of a major cyber attack could quickly cause a ripple reaction in the region, one participant suggested.

“If a nation is attacked, the impact is not confined to one country. Collaboration is mandatory,” Arno Maierbrugger, Inside Investor’s editorial director tweeted.

Singapore, a hot spot for housing data centers, would be the ideal target for cyber terrorists looking to disable tech companies across the globe, @thevikas observed.

With this thought, it is wise for ASEAN to find a mechanism to establish united cyber monitoring norms, not only to ensure the safety of valuable data centers utilised across borders, but also to educate and protected less developed nations.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Governments, it is widely agreed, must follow a mandate to protect their citizens.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Air Force Cyber Command online for future operationsGovernments, it is widely agreed, must follow a mandate to protect their citizens.

How much privacy they strip away from our online lives in order to shield us from “invisible” cyber threats was at the center of a discussion held on June 21 via Twitter by Inside Investor, joined by policy experts, business bloggers and the ASEAN Secretariat.

In recent weeks, governments across the globe have reacted to former CIA employee Edward Snowden’s leaked report that the US has been manning a global online and communications surveillance network.

The incident has reminded the world that cyber intrusions and espionage is an unavoidably entwined reality in our hyper-connected world.

The ASEAN Secretariat tweeted that a number of member nations have already rushed forward with new cyber security policies:

ASEAN-Tweet1

 

But in ASEAN’s efforts to be more vigilant to protect governmental bodies and their citizens, a policy expert from the Philippines joining the discussion made sure to not forgot issues of privacy.

“The extent of intrusion to individual privacy is moderated by urgency and exigent circumstances, but must not violate human rights,” tweeted Drexx Laggui, principal consultant at the National Cyber Security Office in the Philippines.

The Philippines has faced the most voiced opposition from its public concerning cyber crime laws, with journalists winning a battle in late May that rolled back the government’s authority to monitor online threats without a permit, now largely limited to “organised crime.”

The northeastern-most ASEAN nation has become one of the leaders in cyber security policy in the region, but if other countries, such as Singapore, which hosts data centers for many multinational corporations, united under ASEAN, costs could be saved.

‪The Philippines spent millions setting up its C4ISTAR programme [an acronym for IT surveillance systems], when ‪ASEAN could pool resources,” tweeted Oliver Ellerton of Inside Investor.

Indonesia’s decision to a deploy a “cyber army,” a unit of uniformed IT specialists, to monitor communications and the internet was also discussed, namely whether the choice was too militaristic in appearance and could harm privacy rights.

“Governments have different approaches to national security because of different management styles,” tweeted Laggui.

“I can’t say much on other nation’s cyber army, but realistically the actions they can do depend on their leaders,” he added.

Adding to the thought, Laurence Bradford, a blogger based in Thailand, tweeted: “I really dislike the name ‘cyber army.’ Has a sci-fi flick connotation. As such a new initiative, we will have to see it unravel.”

A proxy for war?

In the era of the unmanned drone, there are fears that cyber crime could mushroom into malicious attacks that equate to acts of war.

In the discussion, the ASEAN Secretariat tweeted that less developed nations were at the greatest risk of such malicious acts:

tweet

 

However, cyber attacks are not about physical harm, but the absorption of top-secret data that can be used against sovereign nations, especially to disable government bodies, banks and telecommunications networks.

“I think cyber war is more for gathering documents than disabling infrastructure,” tweeted a participant using the Twitter handle @thevikas.

The event of a major cyber attack could quickly cause a ripple reaction in the region, one participant suggested.

“If a nation is attacked, the impact is not confined to one country. Collaboration is mandatory,” Arno Maierbrugger, Inside Investor’s editorial director tweeted.

Singapore, a hot spot for housing data centers, would be the ideal target for cyber terrorists looking to disable tech companies across the globe, @thevikas observed.

With this thought, it is wise for ASEAN to find a mechanism to establish united cyber monitoring norms, not only to ensure the safety of valuable data centers utilised across borders, but also to educate and protected less developed nations.

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