Vietnam faces risks from cyberspace: experts hinh anh 1Country General Director of Microsoft Vietnam Pham The Truong speaks at the seminar (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Domestic businesses are advised to grab chances and take the initiative to prevent and cope with risks and challenges from the cyberspace, according to the Department of Cybersecurity and High-technology Crime Prevention under the Ministry of Public Security.

Along with benefits brought in by the Internet, Vietnam has been facing major risks in the cyberspace which may threaten national security and social order.

Vietnam suffers from cyber attacks

The Department of Cybersecurity and High-technology Crime Prevention under the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) together with Microsoft Vietnam on September 10 held a symposium on security and cyber safety in Hanoi, which are key to ensuring stable operations and sustainable development of agencies, organisations and businesses in Vietnam.

Officials said that by the end of January, Vietnam is home to 68.17 million Internet users, accounting for 70 percent of the population. Some 60 million of them use social networks on mobile devices and the number of mobile phone subscribers amounts to 143 million.

The 2020 Vietnam E-Business Index (EBI) report released by the Vietnam E-commerce Association revealed that e-commerce valued at about 11.5 billion USD last year. The figure is projected to exceed 15 billion USD in 2020.

In the 2015-2025 period, Vietnam’s e-commerce is forecast to hit 43 billion USD, or 29 percent, ranking third in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Col Nguyen Ngoc Cuong, Deputy General Director of the Department of Cybersecurity and High-technology Crime Prevention, said that along with positive aspects, Vietnam is grappling with unforeseeable risks and challenges in the cyberspace, which directly threaten national security and social order.

In 2019, Vietnam was among the worst-hit countries by ransomware in the Asia-Pacific region. The rate of cryptocurrency-mining malware targeting the nation came third in the region. Drive-by attacks in Vietnam also doubled the average level of the region and the world.

It is alarming for Vietnamese organisations and companies, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, given that about 60,000 phishing messages per day are reported, including bogus attached files or URL related to COVID-19. Imposters use the names of major organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ministry of Health to penetrate victims’ mailboxes.

The number of cases and severity of hi-tech crime are on the rise with new methods and tricks, dealing a direct blow to many aspects and posing challenges to authorities.

The Law on Cyber Security has been disseminated across the country, acting as a legal foundation for the fight against cyber and hi-tech crime.

Cuong added that in keeping with the framework of the Government Security Programme (GSP) signed by the MPS and Microsoft last December, Microsoft Vietnam has shared data on cyber attacks aiming at information networks of 63 Vietnamese provinces and cities.

Accordingly, those in Hanoi and HCM City are hardest-hit by malware and more than 3.8 million IP addresses of Vietnam have been infected with tens of dangerous malware.

Important data source

Data provided by the GSP illustrated that between March and August 2020, up to 4.2 million IP addresses in Vietnam were infected with malware and linked 7.8 billion times to 16,700 addresses of different types of malware, the department said.

Vietnam faces risks from cyberspace: experts hinh anh 2Cuong said that along with positive aspects, Vietnam is grappling with unforeseeable risks and challenges from the cyberspace (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Vietnamese experts pointed out that GSP data holds great potential in supporting the country in raising its defensive ability of security system.

Microsoft Vietnam Country General Director Pham The Truong said cyber threats have become a global issue that requires cooperation of many countries, organisations and firms. With its social responsibility, Microsoft stands ready to collaborate with Vietnam in raising the country’s defensive ability for digitalisation and participation in the fourth Industrial Revolution.

How to roll out defensive measures?

During the symposium, agencies, organisations and firms were advised to study and invest in technical infrastructure and suitable solutions, as well as raise awareness about information and data security of workers and customers.

They need to devise appropriate strategies on the issue, keep a close eye on the installment of devices and use legal software.

They also were asked to work with relevant agencies and comply with regulations on cyber security safety./.