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Thailand plans to set up cybersecurity agency to boost cybersecurity preparedness

Thailand plans to set up cybersecurity agency to boost cybersecurity preparedness

According to the
Electronic Transactions Development Agency of
Thailand
(ETDA), Prime Minister of Thailand, General Prayut Chan-ocha recently
chaired
the first meeting of the National Security Council on Cyber
Security.

During the
meeting, Prime Minister Prayut stated that it is imperative for authorities to
push for the enforcement of the data protection law as this will guarantee that
Thailand’s data privacy is in accordance with global international standards
and will satisfy the concerns of internet users.

The meeting was aimed
at making Thailand among the top 20 countries in the world in terms of
cybersecurity preparedness.

The 4 major
points raised during the meeting were:

(1)   
The importance of an available
framework of national policies that would protect, prevent and reduce the risks
of cyber security threats.

(2)   
The creation of the Critical
Information Infrastructure (CII), the guidelines and standard operations
procedure (SOP) when dealing with emergency situations pertaining
cybersecurity.

(3)   
The development of cybersecurity
personnel.

(4)   
The establishment of the
Cybersecurity Agency (CSA), the agency responsible for coordinating and
responding to cybersecurity issues. This body will guarantee that the
protection of the country’s national cybersecurity is at par with international
standards.

Digital Economy and Society
Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj shared that the framework was approved during the
meeting of the national cybersecurity committee, with the aim of achieving better
ways to combat modern cybersecurity threats, information theft included.

He explained
that with the availability of the internet, unlimited information can be
accessed by anyone. Cybersecurity should be considered as a serious threat
because leakage of sensitive and confidential information may lead to economic
instability and may be critical to national security.

Data pertaining
to Thailand’s Cyber Security Readiness Index, as compared with other countries,
was also presented during the meeting. In 2017, the International
Telecommunications Union
(ITU) surveyed the cybersecurity commitment of
each country based on five measures: (1) Legal, (2) Technical, Agency/Policy, (3)
Organisational Capacity Building, and (4) Collaboration. Results from the
Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) showed that Thailand was ranked 22nd
out of 194 countries.

The main purpose
of the CII is to protect the six branches of national IT infrastructure in the
country – telecommunications; national security and public services;
transportation and logistics; banking and finance; energy and public utilities;
and public health.

Under the
framework Among, the responsibilities of authorities are to identify cyber
threats or sources of attacks, take preventive measures, perform surveillance,
improve security, and recover and repair damaged systems.

The development
of cybersecurity personnel will entail a plan to train 1,000 people from the public
sector. These personnel will come from different backgrounds: system
administrators, users and technicians.

Funding for all
of these endeavours, a total of 350 million Thailand baht, will be coming from
the Digital Economy Fund. He also added that Thailand’s cybersecurity efforts
will be reinforced with support from the Japanese government through the
formation of the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre. Japan will
provide knowledge, funding, as well as training through the centre. Thailand
considers this to be a great opportunity for them to learn from one of the
leading countries in cybersecurity.

A temporary cybersecurity agency is also being
set up. The agency will team up with the EDTA and Thailand Computer Emergency
Response Team
. Minister Pichet furthered that the cabinet is expected to
create a permanent cybersecurity agency soon in compliance with the cybersecurity law.

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