|ICT Update | September 27, 2018
Authors: Shay Wester, Kim Yaeger, Ella Duangkaew, Monica Chritton and Christine Wan
|October 16-18, 2018: Malaysia Business Mission|
|THE COUNCIL'S TAKE|
2018 IMD World Competitiveness Rankings: ASEAN Falling Behind New Competitors
In the 2018 IMD World Competitiveness Ranking report, the U.S. moved up to the top spot in an annual digital competitiveness ranking of 63 economies. In contrast, nearly all five ASEAN economies listed on the ranking, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia, saw their rankings for digital competitiveness fall. While Singapore fell one rank to take the 2nd spot just behind the U.S., the Philippines and Indonesia were both placed in the bottom ten economies, at 56th and 62nd respectively and Malaysia dropped from 24th to 27th place. In spite of ongoing domestic political challenges, Thailand saw its ranking moved up from 41st to 39th.
The IMD World Competitiveness Ranking, which is published annually by Swiss business school Lausanne, analyzes and ranks countries’ ability to adopt and explore digital technologies leading to transformation in government practices, business models and society in general. Digital competitiveness is measured through broad categories of economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.
For Singapore and Malaysia, the 2018 report found a mismatch between relatively high levels of training and education and a digital-friendly environment, and society’s attitudes toward the adoption of new technologies. In Singapore, businesses remain relatively slow to embrace digital transformation. Malaysia has a relatively low ranking in IT integration in areas of e-government and software piracy, a weakness that is common among other ASEAN states such as Thailand and Indonesia.
The Philippines experienced one of the biggest drops in the overall digital ranking, falling from 46th to 56th place, largely attributed to sharp declines in perceptions about the effectiveness of banking and financial services, the availability of venture capital, and societal attitudes toward globalization. Indonesia’s position, in contrast, has remained stable in the bottom of the ranking, with its drop of three ranks to 62nd primarily attributed a decrease in the training and education sub-factor due to a deterioration in employee training, pupil-teacher ratio for tertiary education, graduates in sciences, and women with degrees. The country remains stable in the future readiness factor (at 62nd) despite a downturn in business agility (35th to 46th).
Singapore and Thailand Launch Cybersecurity Centers to Enhance Capacity Building Efforts
In an ongoing effort to develop regional cybersecurity capacity, Singapore and Thailand have launched, or plan to launch, centers to train Southeast Asian cybersecurity professionals and to raise awareness of cybersecurity.
On September 14, the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre launched in Bangkok. Commenting on the Centre’s goal of building cyber capacity, Executive Director of Thailand’s Electronic Transaction Development Agency, Suranga Wayuparb said that ASEAN’s cyber risks are becoming more sophisticated, while the “cyber security personnel are yet insufficient.” The Centre is being implemented by the Electronic Transactions Development Agency under the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and supported by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). The Centre aims to enhance the capacities of at least 280 cybersecurity experts and specialists through coursework offerings, and raise youth awareness on cybersecurity. This Centre was opened to support the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020 and is expected to see 700 Southeast Asian cybersecurity personnel graduate from programs in cyber defense, digital forensics and malware analysis.
Singapore has also announced plans to develop a capacity building center. In his opening address at Singapore International Cyber Week on September 18, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean announced Singapore’s SGD30 million (about US$21.96 million) commitment toward the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (ASCCE). DPM Teo Chee Hean said the ASCCE will “complement and strengthen existing cybersecurity cooperation initiatives, including the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Center in Thailand”. According to this opening address, the three broad objectives of the ASCCE are to (1) strengthen ASEAN members’ cyber strategy development, legislation and research capabilities, (2) train national Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in the region, increasing their technical expertise and cyber incident response skills, and (3) promote CERT-to-CERT open-source information sharing. DPM Teo Chee Hean emphasized the necessity for ASEAN to invest in cyber defense, cyber innovation and cyber partnerships to develop a resilient and innovative ASEAN in his address.
These commitments in Thailand and Singapore build on efforts of ASEAN member states to address emerging cyber threat vectors as ASEAN becomes an increasingly attractive target for cyber attacks. According to Cisco and AT Kearney’s report,: “Cybersecurity in ASEAN: An Urgent Call to Action”, ASEAN states underspend on cybersecurity. To target a mature market average benchmark, the report estimates that ASEAN states would need to target an increase of US$ 67 billion in cumulative cybersecurity spend between 2017 and 2025, and a target increase of $171 billion between 2017 and 2025 to reach a best-in-class benchmark. The report estimates that the current low spending rate could eventually cost the top 1,000 companies in the region up to $750 billion in cyberattack damages, unless there is a radical policymaking agenda that can address current and emerging risks. In 2017, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia drafted national cybersecurity bills, though some have not passed yet, but ASEAN as a whole is still lacking in regional policy coordination in cybersecurity. It is critical that ASEAN prepare to increase investment and develop the needed radical policy agendas to ensure the region’s resilience, and prevent the heavy costs of cyber attacks on citizens and companies alike.
Thailand Approves Draft Digital ID Bill
Thailand’s Cabinet recently approved a Digital Identification Bill in principle, which would set up a National Digital ID (NDID) platform. Drafters expect the Bill to be passed by the National Assembly shortly, and take effect by the middle of 2019. The NDID system under the Bill is intended to facilitate online transactions and enhance stakeholder security, although concerns have been raised about the system’s risks.
For banks, the NDID system under the bill would enable faster customer identify verification by drawing together three parties: an ID provider (IDP), Authoritative Source (AS) and relaying party (RP) to corroborate identification of an end-user. For example, according to the Bangkok Post, a first bank (as the RP) could rely on a second bank (as the IDP) that has already conducted an e-KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure and verified the end-user with backing from a trusted source like the Credit Bureau (as the AS) to release information about the end-user to the first bank for further use. The effect of a faster system under this design would foster growth in digital loans and overall customer bases.
The 12-person working committee that designed the NDID expects the system to benefit public and private stakeholders. According to The Nation, Bill drafter Bhume Bhumiratana stated that as the Bill intends to lower costs for identification authentication, the public may feel more secure in opening accounts and engaging in online transactions, which will also enable the public to collect names, make inquiries or lodge complaints.
However, some have raised questions about the system’s potential for privacy breaches and questions of cybersecurity. As the sole operator, the NDID would face consolidated risk of cybersecurity attack or data breach. Prinya Hom-anek, Secretary-General of the Thailand Information Security Association, said that a single NDID is “not ready to be used on the global level,” and that public services need a high standard of reliable and secure services. Somwang Luangphaiboonsri of the Thailand E-Payment Trade Association said the system should have a trusted global auditor to verify the system and ensure the NDID platform has standards of good governance, transparency and protection of privacy.
It is concerning that the Draft Bill has not been shared with the private sector for public consultation, particularly given that most concerns are coming from industry associations. It will be important for multistakeholder consultation to take place to ensure the Bill is developed with utmost transparency and flexibility, to achieve the shared industry and government goal of expanding financial inclusion.
Thailand Personal Data Protection Bill
Indonesia GR82 and OTT Regulations Update
Vietnam Draft Decree to Amend Decree 06/2016 (OTT Services)
|IN THIS UPDATE|
Deep tech in Southeast Asia The ASEAN Post 24th Sep 2018
A glimpse of the Asean ICT landscape Manila Standard 23rd Sep 2018
ASEAN sees fast growth in e-commerce, says ASOCIO chairman DIGITIMES 21st Sep 2018
Asean countries to establish framework for cybersecurity collaboration ZDNet 20th Sep 2018
Asean framework on cyber security in the works The Straits Times 20th Sep 2018
ASEAN Member States Agree to Strengthen Cyber Coordination and Capacity-Building Efforts Cyber Security Agency 19th Sep 2018
'Local organisations need vastly improved cybersecurity' The Scoop 26th Sep 2018
Brunei introduces hotline to address fake news on social media Xinhua 25th Sep 2018
Indonesia Must Improve Internet Infrastructure to Boost Online Sales of Consumer Goods: Nielsen Jakarta Globe 27th Sep 2018
New Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Pose Emerging Cybersecurity Threat: McAfee Jakarta Globe 26th Sep 2018
Indonesian government to hold weekly 'fake news' briefings the Guardian 26th Sep 2018
China Goes for Broke in Indonesian E-Commerce Bloomberg 24th Sep 2018
E-commerce could widen Indonesia's trade-current deficit and hurt the rupiah, analysts warn The Business Times 24th Sep 2018
Indonesian authorities taking on aggressive Chinese online lenders DealStreetAsia 24th Sep 2018
Ministry prepares new ride-hailing regulation The Jakarta Post 16th Sep 2018
MCMC to have new chairman, expected to shake up telecoms sector The Star Online 18th Sep 2018
MIH unveils Myanmar’s fastest fibre-optic Internet The Nation 24th Sep 2018
Interest in tech startups rises, but challenges remain in 4IR The Myanmar Times 17th Sep 2018
Philippines migrates to Digital TV OpenGov 24th Sep 2018
Philippines feels the heat from hackers The ASEAN Post 24th Sep 2018
Constant 'relearning,' non-routine abilities key to future job security – PIDS Rappler 24th Sep 2018
Rural banks, microfinance go digital for expansion BusinessWorld 20th Sep 2018
Cryptocurrency exchanges resort to irregular practices for demand BusinessWorld 13th Sep 2018
Exploited server in SingHealth cyber attack did not get security update for 14 months, COI finds The Straits Times 27th Sep 2018
COI for SingHealth cyberattack: IT gaps, staff missteps contributed to incident, says Solicitor-General Channel NewsAsia 27th Sep 2018
SMU launches AI research centre; will look at ethics and impact on Singapore’s workforce Channel NewsAsia 24th Sep 2018
Singapore Warns Against Bitcoin Scammers Using Premier's Name Bloomberg 22nd Sep 2018
Singapore to offer bug bounty, set up Asean cybersecurity centre ZDNet 21st Sep 2018
New regional cyber security centre to boost defence against online threats The Straits Times 18th Sep 2018
Singapore rolls out unified payment QR code SGQR in latest cashless push Channel NewsAsia 18th Sep 2018
Singapore start-ups get help finding partners with new online platform The Straits Times 17th Sep 2018
Blockchain to empower Thailand’s FSI OpenGov 27th Sep 2018
Paving the way to digital ID Bangkok Post 24th Sep 2018
Thailand's digital ID bill receives mixed reviews International Association of Privacy Professionals 24th Sep 2018
Transforming how governance is done Bangkok Post 19th Sep 2018
Mixed reactions to Digital ID draft law The Nation 16th Sep 2018
Asean cybersecurity centre opens in Bangkok Bangkok Post 14th Sep 2018
Vietnam boasts great ICT development potentials, says deputy MIC minister DIGITIMES 21st Sep 2018
Hanoi to play iconic role in Vietnam smart city development DIGITIMES 19th Sep 2018
Vietnam’s top IT firms top $16 billion in turnover VnExpress International 18th Sep 2018
Minister wants to develop made-in-Vietnam social media VietNamNet 18th Sep 2018
SIM card market heats up as conversion nears VietNamNet 18th Sep 2018
More banks provide e-tax payment service Viet Nam News 17th Sep 2018
Vietnamese MIC raises a flat ASEAN initiative at WEF Viet Nam News 13th Sep 2018