Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cyber security training now underway in Japan

Cyber security training now underway in Japan

Government officers use their computers during a cyber security drill in Tokyo on March 18, 2014. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP
Government officers use their computers during a cyber security drill in Tokyo on March 18, 2014. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

Cyber security training now underway in Japan

Japan has launched a new effort to boost the cyber defence capabilities of six ASEAN members, including Cambodia, though some experts wondered if the arrangement was a good fit for either party.

Officials from Cambodia’s Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications are participating in a training session from February 20 to March 3, representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) confirmed.

Representatives from Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Vietnam are also participating in the training, which aims to prepare governments to respond to cyber attacks by carrying out simulated attacks on government organisations. The program is funded by JICA and will last three years.

“The purpose of this training is to develop human resources who understand necessary organizations, functions, technology, process, and human resources for cyber security incident response, particularly against advanced persistent threat,” JICA representative Chin Kimheang said in an email.

But some industry experts say Japan itself is still playing catch-up on cyber security. According to numerous experts, the country ignored all of its own vulnerabilities throughout the 2000s.

Since then, however, said Jon Condra, director of Asia-Pacific research at risk intelligence group Flashpoint, Japan has been ramping up its cyber defences in the lead up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The country is also aiming to defend itself against a rapidly modernising China.

But Nir Kshetri, author of a book on cybersecurity in major economies, noted that as late as 2012, Japan had not officially acknowledged that cyber attacks were a serious threat.

While that is changing in the wake of several cyber attacks, the question of whether Cambodia and its cohorts can benefit from such instruction remains, Kshetri said, noting that “many ASEAN countries lack absorptive capacities to benefit from the drills and training”.

JICA yesterday acknowledged the “serious challenges for international society as a whole” posed by cyber threats, but declined to comment on Japan’s capabilities. Cambodia, meanwhile, is particularly vulnerable to hacking.

Last year, the Kingdom came in seventh on a list of Asia-Pacific countries vulnerable to cyber attacks, and a number of government sites have been hacked in recent years.

“Cambodia does not have a policy on cyber security yet,” said Vannarith Chheang, Chairman of the Cambodian Institute for Strategic Studies. “It’s a new concept, and capacity is low.”

But Kshetri says a robust cyber security regime is becoming imperative as “Cambodia increases its digitisation and attracts more cybercriminals”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget