AmCham highlights importance of data security for Cambodian firms

Harrison White

The American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (AmCham) has hosted a cyber-security event bringing together both the public and private sectors to discuss the challenges facing cyber protection.

The event titled Cybersecurity 4.0 – How Do We Secure Our Digital Future? featured H.E. Chea Vandeth, Minister of Post and Telecommunications keynote speech as well as a panel discussion with industry experts.

H.E. Chea Vandeth said in his keynote that the internet had become part of daily life and was now incorporated into personal appliances as well as our social media platforms in which users share all personal information. He added, for both government agencies and businesses having a presence in cyberspace is now a must.

To read more about Cambodia’s e-commerce policies click here.

data security for Cambodian firms
Anthony Galliano AmCham President and H.E. Chea Vandeth, Minister of Post and Telecommunications.

The minister also made several suggestions for local firms to implement, including that businesses of all sizes should ensure that employees have cyber security knowledge and hold regular training. He added firms must remember that exposure to cyber attacks will increase as their digital footprint expands.

“Security automation must be developed and increased over time. Firms must be building and maintaining a solid security system which will be dependent on their ability to hirer highly skilled experts. Increasing digital capabilities is critical to ensuring that all the Cambodian population can participate in the digital economy and to address this we need to increase education and develop partnerships,” he said.

Data security breaches becoming more common

Anthony Galliano, AmCham President outlined in his opening remarks some of the well-known data security breaches over the last two years adding that according to the Official Cybercrime Report published by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime cost the world $6 trillion annually in 2021 and will likely cost the world $10.5 trillion in the future.

“There has been quite a bit of news in the media about hacks, some infamous, and it is difficult at times to comprehend the scale of their impact from all the news bytes. In 2021 there have been several notable hacks that have raised alarms and caused deep concern,” he said.

“The SolarWinds hack was a major event not because a single company was breached, but because it triggered a much larger supply chain incident that affected thousands of organizations, including the U.S. government,” he added.

H.E. Chea Vandeth, Minister of Post and Telecommunications delivered his keynote speech.

Galliano also explained that in 2021 a hacking group found vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange that gave them access to the email accounts of at least 30,000 organizations in the US and 250,000 globally.

“In April, ransomware as a service gang hit Apple supplier Quanta with a $50 million ransomware attack, IBM X-Force estimates that gang made at least $123 million in profits in 2020 and stole around 21.6 terabytes of data,” he added.

The panel identifies education and training most important

A panel discussion moderated by Pily Wong CEO of MDP Cambodia included Pol. Lieutenant General Chea Peou the Director of the Anti-Cybercrime Department, Ainsley Jong CEO of Solutions for Asia.

As well as Kelvin Chin Head of Industrial Cyber Security at Honeywell, Kan Yang the Director of Innovation Solutions at Alibaba Cloud and Vorleak Chhim the Head of Data Protection at Acleda Bank.

To read more about Alibaba’s Cloud service in Cambodia click here.

A panel discussion on the importance of cyber security.

The panel agreed that data security was an increasingly important subject for Cambodian businesses to firstly understand and secondly implement action plans against a potential attack.

Some of the tips included staff at all levels are trained to understand best practice actions for data security as well as ensuring staff change passwords regularly and have minimum two-step authentication between devices.

Pol. Lieutenant General Chea Peou specified that if a breach did occur firms must come to the authorities with sufficient evidence to assist the force in arresting the perpetrator. In addition, the panel agreed that it was best for firms to not pay ransoms and to report any attack immediately. 

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