Minister outlines importance of digitalization and cybersecurity

Lyna Mohamad

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof, Minister-in-Charge of Cybersecurity, said digitalisation is one of the strategic thrusts under Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship for 2021 at the Singapore International Cyber Week (SICW) 2021 and the 6th ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC).

The meeting, carried out via video conferencing from October 5 – 7, is themed ‘Living with COVID-19 – Reimagining Digital Security Risks and Opportunities’. Singapore Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean officiated the SICW 2021.

Following the opening ceremony, the SICW Ministerial Roundtable Opening Session took place where Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib participated as a speaker on the topic ‘A Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Cybersecurity’.

He said digitalisation is driving the sectors deriving from the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, which are now being depended on by citizens and businesses for continuity, stability, well-being and survival, which need to be supported by cybersecurity.

With the challenges arising from cybersecurity threats and incidents, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not only lead to commitment to cybersecurity going beyond protecting the critical information infrastructures (CIIs), but also to address key emerging issues such data integrity and sovereignty, confidence building measures and most importantly, strengthening collaboration and coordination especially with other sectoral bodies.

Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohammad Yusof during the meeting. PHOTO: MTIC

The 6th AMCC held on October 6 is an annual ministerial-level dialogue for ASEAN Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and cybersecurity ministers to discuss key cybersecurity issues in the region. It began with the launch of the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence by Singapore’s Minister for Communication and Information and Minister-in-Charge of Smart Nation and Cybersecurity Josephine Teo witnessed by other ministers and heads of delegation.

During the AMCC, Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib welcomed the progress in the preparation of the Regional Action Plan on the Implementation of the Norms of Responsible State Behaviour in the Cyberspace.

He reiterated the need for cybernorms to be universally accepted and translated into practical actions across sectors and for the initiatives to be relevant with the focus and priorities of ASEAN sectoral bodies.

The AMCC focussed on the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy 2021–2025, which once finalised will chart ASEAN’s strategies in strengthening regional cooperation in cybersecurity. It also reaffirmed the support for the 11 voluntary, non-binding norms of responsible state behaviour in the use of ICTs and noted the reports of the inaugural United Nations (UN) Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) and the 6th UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on international security in cyberspace.

SICW 2021 concluded on October 7 with the Ministerial Roundtable Closing Session where speakers representing the governments and the industry discussed ways to navigate the opportunities and risks presented by living in the new norm, from the perspective of cybersecurity.

Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) Haji Mohammad Nazri bin Haji Mohammad Yusof, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Infocommunications) at the MTIC Haji Hairul Mohd Daud bin Haji Abdul Karim, Interim Commissioner of Cyber Security Brunei (CSB) Shamsul Bahri bin Haji Kamis and senior officials from the MTIC and CSB also joined the SICW 2021 and the 6th AMCC.