What are the real needs and goals of Asia Pacific (APAC) countries in cyber capacity building, education, and awareness? Whose role is it to play in ensuring these goals are met – it is necessarily the State to bear this burden?

These are the burning questions addressed during Kaspersky’s APAC Online Policy Forum III with the theme “Greater Cyber-resilience through Cyber Capacity Building”.

The virtual forum was joined by a high-level panel of speakers from the region including:

  • Mr. Craig Jones, INTERPOL Cybercrime Director
  • Professor Li Yuxiao, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies; and Secretary-General of the Cyber Security Association of China
  • Professor Seungjoo Kim, Professor of the School of Cybersecurity of Korea University; Head of the Department of Cyber Defense of Korea University; and Member of the Presidential Committee on the 4th Industrial Revolution
  • Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky
Experts: Cyber-capacity building in APAC should involve growing talent pool, regional cooperation and public-private partnerships

Kaspersky 3rd APAC Online Policy Forum speakers: (Left to Right)Craig Jones, INTERPOL Cybercrime Director, Chris Connell, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky, Professor Li Yuxiao, Vice President of the Chinese Academy, of Cyberspace Studies, and Professor Seungjoo Kim, Professor of the School of Cybersecurity of Korea University

A nation’s cyber-resilience abilities are often limited by the know-how of its human resources and the quality of cross border collaboration between the region’s private and public organizations. Thus, the speakers have shed light on the cybersecurity gaps stakeholders in APAC should address urgently to build a safer cyberspace.

“In the Cyber Age, as we experience an accelerated digital transformation, we’re facing security challenges that put a strain on cybersecurity resources. Investing in cyber talent and promoting security awareness and digital education for users are the keys to success in building cyber-resilient digital societies and economies,” says Connell.

Multiple studies released for the past few years have noted the global cybersecurity skills gap, particularly in APAC, primarily driven by the region’s accelerated digitalization efforts, which does not come free of cybersecurity risks as highlighted by Craig Jones of INTERPOL.

“With the continued rise in cyber threats and cybercriminal activities impacting communities, a new paradigm has emerged for global law enforcement. One of the key challenges that INTERPOL identified are the gaps in law enforcement cyber capabilities and capacity, nationally, regionally and globally. Whilst these remain criminal networks are able to expand their infrastructure and activities. To overcome this challenge, law enforcement must be a trusted partner beyond national borders and sectors. Being collaborative, inclusive and open will help us reduce the gaps, bridging the divides in capabilities and capacity,” adds Jones.

Professor Li Yuxiao, Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies, echoes Jones’ points in terms of focusing on the long term and joint building a community with a shared future in cyberspace.

Li also specified that cyber capacity building in APAC should “focus on network infrastructure, be alert to the challenges brought by cyber security, and strengthen the development of personnel training system” as the region continues to harness the power of Industry 4.0.

Driven by the low production costs, extensive industrial base, and greater support from local governments in APAC, the region is ripe to be the center and biggest market for Industry 4.0 in the next five years. Professor Seungjoo Kim, a member of the South Korea’s Presidential Committee on the 4th Industrial Revolution, cited success stories where countries are starting to beef up their cybersecurity policies and regulations alongside their intense drive towards a more connected society.

Kim notes, “As we enter the era of the 4th Revolution, cybersecurity is becoming more important than ever. For example, in the European Union, the regulations on automotive cybersecurity will be mandatory for all new vehicles produced from July 2024. As the importance of cybersecurity spreads across all areas, security experts are forced to have more in-depth domain knowledge than ever before. Now, it’s time for us to think about a more effective workforce development program to train security experts specialized in each industrial sector.”

For Kaspersky’s part, the global cybersecurity company has since been a trusted partner of INTERPOL. In 2019, Kaspersky has extended its cooperation with the law enforcement agency’s fight against cybercriminals by providing human resources support, training, and threat intelligence data on the latest cybercriminal activities.

The company, mindful of the talent gap in the region, has also expanded this year its popular SafeBoard internships program in APAC. Through this program, local candidates from Singapore were able to choose from a variety of technical and non-technical positions and to be exposed in the growing industry of cybersecurity.

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