Safe, secure cyberspace a top priority for Sultanate

James Kon

The establishment of Cyber Security Brunei (CSB) is hoped to spur interest in careers as cybersecurity experts and professionals among local youth, said Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof.

During the launching of the DST InnoConnect Service at the DST Headquarters in Jalan Tungku Link yesterday, the minister said, “It is our upmost priority to ensure a safe and secure cyberspace for Brunei Darussalam.

“With this in mind, I am pleased to share with you that His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to the establishment of Cyber Security Brunei, as the national cybersecurity agency for Brunei Darussalam.”

Headed by an interim Commissioner, the CSB started operations on August 1, 2020.

“The CSB serves as the agency that monitors and coordinates national efforts in addressing cyber security threats as well as cyber crimes. It is through CSB that strategies, policies and framework governing cybersecurity are formulated and implemented with the relevant critical information snfrastructures (CIIs) as the main constituents.

“The formation of CSB is timely, as one of the key strategic enablers in our digital transformation journey towards making Brunei Darussalam as a Smart Nation. With its vision of ensuring a secure and resilient cyberspace for the nation, the CSB is now carrying out three main services, namely BruCERT (Brunei Computer Emergency Response Team), National Digital Forensic Laboratory and Cyber Watch Centre (CWC).

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof speaks at the launch. PHOTO: JAMES KON

“With CSB as the country’s forefront agency for a safer and secure cyberspace, I hope that it will encourage more agencies, organisations and users alike to come up with more innovation and participate in digital economy initiatives with more confidence,” he said.

The minister shared three key takeaways in the recent Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) which he attended virtually.

“First, COVID-19 has globally accelerated digital transformation. This is also very true in the case of Brunei Darussalam. With the support of the industry players and the private sector, we have seen how our digital agenda has been actually accelerated. Alhamdulillah, this includes the usage of new technologies such as AI and big data for policy consideration and management.

“Secondly, the growth in demand for digital connectivity. In managing the impacts of COVID-19, digital services and platforms have become the solution amidst restriction measures and disruption in the logistics chain. As a result, the need for digital connectivity has become more evident to enable essential services such as online education and working from home.

“For Brunei Darussalam, we are also experiencing a surge in demand. Up to July 2020, the demand for fixed broadband and bandwidth utilisation has increased by 32 per cent and 52 per cent respectively.

“Thirdly – cybersecurity. While it has always been at the forefront, the importance of cybersecurity has become more significant especially after COVID-19. Cybersecurity threats and incidents have become more evident with opportunistic and irresponsible actors launching cybersecurity attacks to disrupt critical services and systems. Malicious activities such as phishing and scams capitalising on COVID-19 have also increased, feeding on public anxiety and uncertainty of the situation.

“At the regional level, collaboration in cybersecurity in ASEAN has also been elevated to increase the region’s preparedness and capacity in cybersecurity. In line with these regional and international developments, Brunei Darussalam is also implementing policies and initiatives for our readiness in cybersecurity.”

The CSB official website, which went live yesterday, can be accessed at www.csb.gov.bn.