February 29, 2024

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BSSN’s Role in Advancing ASEAN Cybersecurity

Image credits: bssn.go.id

The National Cyber and Cryptography Agency (BSSN), which served as the focal point for one of the ASEAN Sectoral Bodies dealing with cybersecurity issues known as the ASEAN Network Security Action Council (ANSAC), played a significant role during the 14th ANSAC Meeting held in Bali recently.

ANSAC is a technical meeting forum where representatives from all ASEAN member countries responsible for cybersecurity come together. In this year’s meeting, Mr Ye Naing Moe, the Director of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) of Myanmar, served as the Chair, leading the proceedings of the 14th ANSAC Meeting.

Sigit Kurniawan, the Director of Cyber Security Strategy at BSSN, conveyed Indonesia’s stance on cybersecurity, current cybersecurity threats and challenges, and Indonesia’s responses to various agenda items.

The ANSAC Meeting commenced with presentations on the national cybersecurity developments from each ASEAN member country. It served as an opportunity to build trust among ASEAN member states and promote collaborative efforts to create a secure cyberspace within the region. The meeting also discussed the implementation plans of The ASEAN Regional Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

The ANSAC delegation agreed on enhancing cybersecurity capabilities in both government sectors and critical information infrastructure within each ASEAN member country and the ASEAN region. Therefore, progress on ASEAN cybersecurity capacity development initiatives, such as the ASEAN-Japan Cyber Security Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC), ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE), and ASEAN Cyber Shield (ACS) Project, was presented.

ASEAN has already established the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy 2021-2025. As of July 2023, 10% of the 19 initiative programmes have been completed, 74% are ongoing, and 16% still need to start. Hence, the ASEAN Secretariat welcomed ASEAN member states willing to lead the implementation of initiatives that have yet to begin. Furthermore, the ASEAN Secretariat approved Singapore’s proposal to collaborate with ASEAN member countries in reviewing and updating the strategy.

During the forum, several agreements were reached in the fields of telecommunications, digital transformation, and cybersecurity. In the cybersecurity domain, a new initiative called the ASEAN Working Group on Anti Online Scam (WG-AS) was established in response to the increasing prevalence of online scams in ASEAN member countries and cross-border online scams within the ASEAN region.

Indonesia supported this initiative, with BSSN as the focal point for ANSAC, ready to participate in WG-AS membership. One of its essential tasks is to provide cybersecurity education and literacy content to the public for online scam prevention. The content can be accessed on the BSSN website and on BSSN’s social media platforms.

Regarding the discussion on The ASEAN Regional Action Plan on the Implementation of the Norms of Responsible State’s Behavior in Cyberspace, ASEAN member states were encouraged to actively update initiatives supporting regional cooperation, capacity-building activities, and confidence-building measures (CBM) to develop the necessary capabilities for implementing the 11 UNGGE Norms.

Additionally, progress on the ASEAN Cybersecurity Assessment Model (ACAM) was presented. ACAM involves the methodology for measuring cybersecurity maturity; the draft recommendations report from regional ASEAN assessments using ACAM tools, and the implementation plan for 2023.

BSSN’s participation in the ANSAC Forum is considered strategic, given its role as Indonesia’s focal point in formulating various ASEAN-level documents and activities in cyber resilience.

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