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Laos government, private sectors join to fight cyber crime

Publication Date : 10-12-2013


Representatives from the government and communications companies met in Vientiane yesterday to develop a collective response to the growing threat of cyber attack and to organise drills to see how well Laos could react to simulated online threats.

The Cyber Security Forum and Cyber Drill was organised by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to develop Laos' defence against cyber attacks.

Ministry officials said changes in technology had given criminals greater access to tools that could be used for cyber crime, which could be culturally or politically motivated.

Planning and Cooperation Department Director General and Chairman of the meeting, Snith Xaphakdy, said these threats were global in nature and attacks on one country could impact another, while the individual cyber criminal could be coordinating it from a third .

“To safeguard our Internet environment we have to take a global approach and come to a common understanding on now we can address the needs of all countries, including least developed, developing and developed countries,” Snith said.

“Only by working together to develop strategies and identify best practices can we address these global challenges.”

In a press release about the meeting, the Lao government said it considered the development of information technologies key in driving the industrialisation and modernisation of the country.

Laos has experienced rapid growth in its information technology sector recently. There are now five telecommunications companies, seven Internet service providers and about 900 computer shops in the country.

The government has tried to promote this growth with its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policies to improve productivity and the effectiveness of administration and services.

Snith said a common regional framework for network security was clearly set out in section 4.2.1 of the Asean ICT Master Plan for 2015. He also said the ITU was responsible for ensuring cyber security and safe use of information technology, as determined at the World Summit on the Information Society.

He said the Cyber Security Forum and Cyber Drill was led by the ITU and its partner the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) in collaboration with his ministry and Lao Computer Emergency Response Team, known as LaoCERT.

The meeting was designed to be a chance to improve mutual trust and share experiences with other Asean states in the ITU.

Snith said the priority for Laos was improving the capabilities and skills of the people working to defend against cyber attacks.

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications was established in mid-2011 to promote the development of the ICT industry. In February this year, the ministry established LaoCERT to police cyber security.

“Being such a new establishment, LaoCERT still lacks the relevant skills and required experience, so cooperation with foreign countries is very vital to us,” he said.

Snith said the forum was also an opportunity to learn from experts from other ITU-IMPACT countries like Cambodia, Myanmar and Vientnam.




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