Cybersecurity Crucial Element to Boost Business Development

10:12:02 AM | 6/30/2023

In the current era of booming information technology, online business is gradually becoming a trend that is valued by many individuals and businesses. Not only does it help expand the scope of promotion, deepen and broaden communication measures for both domestic and foreign businesses, reduce operating costs, and connect with low-cost suppliers but "networking" and information technology are also important factors to boost the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Companies are facing increasingly sophisticated and larger cyberattacks while cybersecurity awareness among users in Vietnam is still very limited

However, apart from opportunities, the "networking" environment also brings enormous risks and challenges to individual users as well as corporate users in ensuring information security. There are increasingly sophisticated and larger cyberattacks on companies while the cybersecurity awareness among users in Vietnam is still very limited.

Increasingly sophisticated and complicated

Over the past years, Vietnam has introduced many policies to foster information technology application and development for socio-economic development, national defense and security and achieved many important achievements. Telecom and information technology infrastructure is built quite synchronously. Most industries are digitizing their databases and applying information technology to enhance administration and reduce administrative procedures. The digital economy was formed and developed rapidly to become an increasingly important part of the overall economy. Many new forms of cross-border business and services, based on digital and network technologies, have come into being.

Apart from advantages, Vietnam is also facing numerous cyberspace challenges to national security and social order and safety. In 2021 and early 2022, given the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, all social activities, interactions, relationships and transactions were mainly conducted in the network environment, resulting in a dramatically increased use of cyberspace for illegal acts. With the current rapid development and application of information technology, Vietnam's cyber security will continue to be challenging as cybercrime is spreading in every field. In the first six months of 2022, the Ministry of Public Security detected and handled 840 cyber cases committed by 18 criminals (42% more than in the same period of 2021).

Although cyberspace is dangerous, many companies apply only traditional network information security solutions and outdated technologies. Only when they are attacked do they hire experts to fix it.

According to the "Cybersecurity Handbook for Women Leaders", there are many forms of cyberattacks. Sometimes, attackers do not want to disrupt victims' normal activities but instead, seek to exploit such activities for financial gains. Attackers manipulate data during their exchanges with victims or forge data on victims' systems.

One of the biggest dangers in the internet environment is faking other people. In just a few minutes, criminals can create a website that looks exactly like the real one, perhaps belonging to a bank, a shop, or a government agency, and even use a domain name that looks like the real one. Some examples of this type of attack are deceptive phishing, spear phishing, CEO fraud, pharming, Dropbox phishing and Google Docs phishing.

Data destruction attack is an even higher level of attack because hackers not only want to cripple the system or disconnect the system, but also want to destroy data for some reason - users refuse to pay the ransom they want, for example. Wiper malware is an example of this type of attack.

In addition, many cyberattacks target the data of an individual, a business, or a government body. There are two typical types of this attack: Personal data theft and business data theft.

Notably, "black credit" lending in cyberspace, typical of exorbitant interest rates, poses potential risks that threaten security and order in many localities across the country. Currently, over 200 online lending applications are available on the internet (through websites or applications on Google Play and App Store).

In particular, the explosion of smart devices, artificial intelligence (AI), especially applications on smartphones, is a threat to network security, social order and safety, because users grant too much access as well as provide personal information on social networks and applications, leading to easy appropriation or abuse by attackers. Threats from IoT devices remain a big problem. Currently, there is no overall solution to ensure the safety, network security and confidentiality of State secrets for IoT devices. As a result, sensitive, private personal information has been leaked and distributed on the network or accessed by other agents without the user's consent.

Raising risk awareness and assessment

Before this reality, the Department of Cyber Security and Hi-tech Crime Prevention advised the Party, the Government and the Ministry of Public Security to launch and implement many guidelines, policies, laws and timely solutions to guarantee network security, prevent and combat high-tech crimes, especially quick construction and proposal of instructive documents on the implementation of the Law on Cybersecurity, regulations on personal data privacy, and sanctions on administrative violations against network security. At the same time, the department continued to review new issues posed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution to propose complete policies and laws to ensure compliance with international standards, user rights, and human rights commitments.

According to the "Cybersecurity Handbook for Women Leaders", properly identifying cyber risks and challenges will help users actively protect their legitimate rights and interests in the digital space and digital society. The first and most important issue is risk awareness and assessment. On that basis, it is necessary to develop defensive measures, stay high alert to promptly detect emerging issues and keep close coordination with relevant bodies to respond to potential threats and occurrences. Particularly, there must be sufficient capacity to restore the system and return to normal operation soon. Wherein, prompt (immediate) and effective (immediately and fully prevented) responses are the most important to defend network security.

According to experts, there is no better way to fix and solve an incident than the right protection and defense against violation and attack. Prevention and defense not only help you recover more easily but also help ensure that you can detect an attack as early as possible. Without proper defense, you may not even be able to determine that you have been attacked, let alone prevent an attack that may come at any time.

Simple ways to protect yourself online are to set a strong password, use antivirus software, avoid using free internet connections, not give others your own or your company's password, and not access unsafe websites. More sophisticated ways are to set up firewalls and train capable network security personnel.

There are many types of antivirus software on the market, free or paid, domestic or foreign. Most of them perform the same functions. Thus, the choices typically depend on users' ability to afford them. Installing more than one antivirus software is not necessarily good but it is advisable to install at least one on your device.

In addition, according to experts, users should keep up-to-date information security instructions on official media channels (like TV and government websites). Information technology is always changing and regularly updating this knowledge will help network users gain more knowledge, experience and confidence in the network environment.

By Quynh Anh, Vietnam Business Forum