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Bhutan to have a cyber security strategy

With Bhutan well into the digitalization age , it is not spared from the risks of cyยญber exploitation. It is risker with not many aware of cyber crimes.

To create awareness on this important issue, the Minยญistry of Information and Comยญmunications (MoIC) in colยญlaboration with International Telecommunication Unit (ITU) conducted a workshop to improve Cyber security and to develop the first Naยญtional cyber security strategy in the country.

Cyber security is defined as the protection of computยญers, networks, programs and data from unauthorized acยญcess or attacks that are aimed for exploitation.

To ensure a high-level apยญproach to cyber security, faยญcilitator Dr. Marco Gercke, the director of Cybercrime Research Institute conductยญed a cyber security incident stimulation exercise for more than two hours. He said the exercise was not to scare anyone or put anyone under pressure, the idea is purely an โ€˜awareness risingโ€™.

โ€œThe stimulation exercise may not totally prevent the systems from cyber attacks but it will provide a certain degree of guidance. Furtherยญmore, it will give a good unยญderstanding on what could possibly happen to the counยญtry if such attacks happen.โ€

The MoIC Minister Karma Donnen Wangdi graced the workshop.

Since the introduction of internet in Bhutan in 1999, it has evolved from an inforยญmation exchange platform to become the backbone of modยญern business, infrastructure and social network.

Today, many governments are transacting online and the internet is transforming how we socialize and do busiยญness. The reliance of our soยญciety on digital infrastructure is growing, where cyber space remains venerable. At the same time, methods used by malicious actors are rapidly evolving and Bhutan is not an exception for such attacks. โ€œThe current challenge Bhuยญtan is facing is a lack of skills, knowledge and experience among Information and Comยญmunication Technology (ICT) professionals and in the area of cyber security,โ€ said Lyยญonpo Karma Donnen Wangdi, MoIC.

Cyber attack is ranked as one of the biggest threat facing the business world toยญday. An attack on a computer processing or communicaยญtion network could cause 50 billion to 120 billion dollar of economic damage. โ€œThe focus is no longer on prevenยญtion, you canโ€™t stop it, it is now about better detection and readiness for the inevitable in order to survive in todayโ€™s world,โ€ commentator Deepiยญka Rai said.

Dr. Marco Gercke, will be in the country for a week to discuss and engage with various stakeholders to estabยญlish Bhutanโ€™s cyber security strategy. He will also discuss on child online protection, promote and improve instituยญtional cyber culture and creยญate awareness on cyber pracยญtice across government and business to enable all Bhutaยญnese to be secure online. โ€œWe have been fortunate that such attacks have not happen and if such attacks happen, I donโ€™t know if we have these mechaยญnisms placed or not. And we are also trying to work on this,โ€ said Jigme Thinley Namgyal, the director general of MoIC.

Today, Bhutan has Bhutan Computer Incident Response Team (BtCIRT), developed in 2016 which have dealt with over 250 incidences but it has not developed a holistic and comprehensive policy. โ€œWe are still venerable,โ€ he added. The stimulation is a good way of sensationalizing the govยญernment, the executives and the internet user. The minisยญtry is also planning to carry out similar exercise for other members very soon.


By Yeshey Choden

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