Aiming high:

Vietnam’s path to becoming a cybersecurity powerhouse

06:00 | 16/05/2022 Science - Technology

(VEN) - With its existing resources, products and services, Vietnam’s goal of becoming a cybersecurity powerhouse is entirely feasible, said analysts at an April 25 conference on protecting Vietnam’s cybersecurity amid growing risks of digital conflicts.

Decisive factors

Cybersecurity plays an important role in accelerating the national digital transformation process. According to Trinh Ngoc Minh, a member of the Executive Committee of Vietnam Information Security Association’s (VNISA) southern branch, Vietnam has significantly improved its data privacy protection capabilities and was listed among the top 25 countries and territories (out of 194) in the 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI).

vietnams path to becoming a cybersecurity powerhouse

Minh said investment and interest in Vietnam's cybersecurity have been growing, with spending in this field increasing 50 percent and numerous domestically developed information security products put into use.

Minh explained that a cybersecurity powerhouse is able to affect the world's cybersecurity system, pointing to the US, Russia and Israel as outstanding examples of such powers.

Sharing Minh’s view, Vice Chair of VNISA and Deputy Chair of Bkav, Ngo Tuan Anh, said Vietnam boasts a highly qualified IT (information technology) international level workforce. According to Anh, whose company is the most popular anti-virus software provider in Vietnam, the country is also among a handful of countries whose IT experts have a global reputation as reflected in their ability to spot security loopholes in major Google systems or trace the source of cyber-attacks on American and Korean websites, he said.

Cybersecurity ecosystem

The Ministry of Information and Communications has proposed that 10 percent of the budget of any IT project is allocated to cybersecurity. Vietnamese cybersecurity enterprises need to work with state management agencies to penetrate foreign markets.

vietnams path to becoming a cybersecurity powerhouse

Chairman of Vietnam Security Network Company (VSEC) Truong Duc Luong said Vietnam needs an ecosystem such as Israel’s, consisting of research institutes, universities, investors, and large startup funds. The number of cybersecurity businesses in Israel is 20-fold higher than in Vietnam, with the investment capital over the past three to four years estimated at about US$11 billion.

Luong said such an ecosystem would enable Vietnam’s long-term development. The country does not lack IT experts, but needs a diversified market with the participation of businesses and investors to expand cybersecurity solutions, he added.

Bkav’s Ngo Tuan Anh said Vietnam needs a developed market, trained human resources and technology if it is to achieve its goal of turning into a cybersecurity powerhouse.

Anh also addressed the lack of regulations governing the cybersecurity market, which should set strict requirements for qualified IT firms in the cybersecurity field. He expressed concern over businesses working with non-specialized IT companies in cybersecurity, warning that this raises cyber risks and restricts the development of qualified cybersecurity companies.

Vietnam is mastering cybersecurity solutions and can meet 90 percent of domestic demand in this regard.

Trang Anh