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Thailand to host ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Centre to be launched in June 2018

During the initial 4 years of this project, Japan will help ASEAN develop cybersecurity personnel and provide essential knowledge transfer

Boris Sullivan

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The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) of Thailand and Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) of Japan jointly announced the preparation for the establishment of ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC) in Thailand.

ETDA revealed 3 courses to prepare cybersecurity workforce in ASEAN for the rising threats of cyber-attacks.

Officials are confident that after the launch in June, the Centre will play the key role in mitigating cybercrime in this region as well as getting ready for the establishment of ASEAN-CERT.

This project has received funding from Japan (JAIF: Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund) and supports in terms of technical expertise to enable effective delivery of cyber training for ASEAN Member States.

The objective of the project is to develop cybersecurity workforce particularly in governmental agencies and Critical Information Infrastructure operators in ASEAN with the aims to enhance cybersecurity awareness, strengthen information security and data protection, and promote information sharing.

All elements are essential to the development of standardized Incident Reporting Framework across the region and the establishment of ASEAN-CERT, which are in line with the ASEAN ICT Master Plan 2020 Strategic Thrust 8: Information Security and Assurance.

The fact that Thailand has been selected as the host is advantageous.

First, it stresses the importance of cybersecurity workforce development.

Second, it offers a great opportunity for Thailand to learn and adapt international practices in cybersecurity workforce development to benefit the country. Finally, it allows Thailand to build a network of cybersecurity experts in ASEAN for better cooperation in the future.

“MDES has been working in parallel with ASEAN and Japan. While Japan is preparing for financial capital, Thailand is proceeding with the approval of project detail that is under review by ASEAN and Japan. In the meantime, Thailand is getting the people, process, and location ready to take immediate action upon approval of the budget. This includes action plan, course curriculum, and other logistics. We expect to officially launch the Centre this June and conduct the first training for ASEAN altogether” said Dr. Pichet.

Surangkana Wayuparb, CEO of ETDA stated that the Centre is going to deliver cybersecurity training every two months or at least six times a year targeting government officials and Critical Information Infrastructure personnel.

The courses to be conducted are

1) CYDER (Cyber Defense Exercise with Recurrence) focuses on handling cybersecurity incidents. CYDER is a successful course that has been adopted by the Government of Japan to train cybersecurity personnel across the country during the past five years with over 5,000 participants from more than 1,500 organizations.

2) Forensics deals with digital evidence of cyber-attacks.

3) Malware Analysis covers the analysis of various types of malware according to the trend of cyber threats. All courses are designed to allow participants to learn the theory and to have hands-on practices. The contents will be updated at least yearly to keep up with the evolving cyber threats.

Moreover, the Centre will also organize the annual Cyber SEA Game, which is a regional cybersecurity contest to nurture youth and young professionals in the field. The winning team will get a seat to attend international competition in Japan. Overall, the Centre aims to develop at least 700 cybersecurity personnel in ASEAN in four years.

During the initial 4 years of this project, Japan will help ASEAN develop cybersecurity personnel and provide essential knowledge transfer for the long-term management and sustainability of this Centre. The future of this Centre is not a decision for Thailand to make alone, it is a consideration for the entire ASEAN to discuss and decide.

Thailand will continue to promote and support this Centre by exploring future partnership and sponsorship from other sources such as ASEAN dialogue partners, private companies, and ASEAN ICT Fund. The Centre will ensure that ASEAN cybersecurity personnel are well equipped with knowledge and skills to defend against the advancement of cyber-attacks. Most importantly, the Centre will be a long-term benefit to all ASEAN Member States.

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