Speaking at the workshop as opening keynote, Dr Nguyen Minh Hong (pictured), Vice Minister, MIC stressed the importance of e-government development in Vietnamese public sector agencies, and highlighted information security as the primary concern.
According to Dr Nguyen, most Vietnamese government websites currently simply provide information. They are not associated with level-3 or 4 public services; level 3 is a two-way interaction (such as filling in electronic forms) between the citizen and the government, while level 4 is a full-fledged transaction (full electronic case handling) with no need for other formal in-person procedure.
Dr Vu Quoc Khanh, Director General, VNCERT said at the workshop that the budget for information security solutions just accounts for a small proportion of the agencies’ total budget for the information technology application program. As for state agencies, 29 per cent of them plan to spend 10 to 15 per cent of the budget on information security solutions, while the average spend is 19 per cent for the whole country.
A survey of VNCERT has found out that 53 per cent of units which have information security systems cannot record attack behavior. He demonstrated this fact through an analogy: though more than 50 per cent of Vietnamese websites have houses, and their homes have been equipped with locks, the owners of the houses would not know if their houses had been burgled, because they are not informed by the system.
Computer viruses cause Vietnam “time damage” worth VND559 billion (US$26.7 million) every month, according to a new report issued by local Internet security firm Bkav in December 2011. This vendor also pointed out that there were 6.9 million computers affected by malware in April 2012. Khanh also believes that most Vietnamese websites have many holes, and that if an attack is carried out, it would be very difficult to continue with the operations of the whole system.
However, as for unimportant websites which do not need heavy investment, the administrators would be able to recover the system in a short period of time. Meanwhile, very important websites which must be online 24/7 all have information security measures already. The Vietnam Information Security Association carried out an assessment of 100 websites of government agencies (.gov.vn), and found that 80 per cent of websites do not apply safeguards such as intrusion prevention systems.
It has also estimated that 78 per cent of the websites are vulnerable to attack at any time. Major General Dr. Nguyen Viet The, former Head of the Informatics Agency under the Ministry of Public Security, has identified that network security would continue to be a burning problem in 2012, and may even lead to large-scale cyber-warfare.