Relevant Strategies For Cambodia’s Cybersecurity

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Back in June 22nd last year, Khmertimes reported local IT companies Te Aikhong Enterprise and Kepster Data Center signed a partnership agreement with Malaysia-based firm Fourtitude Asia to improve the digital ecosystem in Cambodia by bringing online a $70 –million data center in the capital. It stated that the new joint venture of local and international companies will result in the creation of the biggest data center in the country, boosting the Kingdom capabilities to provide digital and cloud services. This type of investment into the internet indicates the nation is leaning towards a standardized and modernized communication and information system. According to Te Aikong’s director, Te Chour, he stated that “a data center is a key asset or the development for the digital economy”. He continued “It will play an important role in attracting investors. Companies are more likely to come to Cambodia if they have a reliable place to store data.” The director also explained the organization will be negotiating with the government for a suitable amount of fee for the user who will be using the digital service. As for Tang Pen San, director of Fourtitude Asia, the largest cloud platform in Malaysia, he stated that the organization has a lot of experience and expertise that we want to bring to Cambodia. This partnership is important as we found that the country is lacking a professional in technology and cybersecurity”. He continued to claim that the company will be training the people of Cambodia to participate in cloud development and maintenance.

Cambodia, a country located in Southeast Asia, is massively experiencing growth in economy and development in infrastructure. Large local and foreign investment is pouring into the nation and the money is needed for protection. Today, the threats that are most probable to affect the investment had already been a transition from physical, i.e. bank robberies, to digital, like bank fraud and others. To address the issue, cybersecurity development has been introduced and improved. The importance of cybersecurity is to provide privacy, integrity, authenticity, and confidentiality to the people, and to private and public entities. For the general public, almost every individual is owning a smart device; therefore, data is being generated from the user to either private, public or foreign entities. The purpose of the development is to make sure that all of the data is generated legally and ethically. In terms of private enterprise, the owner of the business is concerned with the company’s data being compromised by outsiders; thus, it creates possible risk and crisis to the investors, employees, and clients. As for public organizations, data that are compromised could be a threat to the nation. For instance, if data is leaked out into the public on electric power grip, it is extremely simple for unethical hackers to control the electricity however it wants to cause huge danger to the households and organizations. On February 22nd, Khmertimes reported that Telecom Cambodia, a state corporation and Southeast Asia Telecommunications, or Seatel which is Chinese-owned private cooperation has partnered to boost the telecom sector for Cambodia. The aim of the memorandum of understanding is to advance the development of the local ICT sector and help Cambodia come in line with regional standards. According to Yao Yue Jin, Seatel chairman, he stated that the company will continue to invest in the Kingdom [..]. We will continuing pushing the development of the mobile telecommunications sector and the internet n Cambodia for the benefit of all Cambodian people.“. According to him, Seatel will invest $300 million to build 12,000 kilometers of fiber-optic network cable across the country, and it will invest an additional $200 million in the next five years to further the development of the telecom industry and provide access to stable and affordable high-speed internet anywhere in Cambodia.

Although different countries enact different cybersecurity procedures and policy; it is worthwhile having a peek at other countries initiative and observe how it could be applied to the stage of cybersecurity that Cambodia is currently in. According to the counselor of NISC, Cabinet Secretariat for Government of Japan, he outlined in a presentation in 24th April 2017, that the objective of the Cybersecurity strategy in Japan is to provide socio-economic vitalization, safe and secure society and international peace and stability including national security. As for the principle of the initiative, the nation aims to provide free flow of information, rule of law, openness, self-governance and cooperation among Multi Stakeholders. The legal definition of cybersecurity provided in the presentation is to aim to describe the common understanding of cybersecurity in a legal language.

It is important for the nation to bring the Cabinet and the national government into involvement with the issue due to most data gathering, processing and transferring are currently done virtually; therefore, those virtual documents could at risk without proper IT security procedures enacted. The overview of the basic Act of cybersecurity is to provide a clear and strengthened legal background of the organization, strengthened authorities of the cybersecurity strategic headquarters and provide a comparison of past, present, and future proposed cybersecurity strategies.

Cybersecurity strategy centers on five key principles. Firstly, the country must establish and maintain trust among stakeholders and organizations that are operating and have an association with it. Secondly, moral and ethics should be at the central point of any methodologies that are enacted. Third, the methodologies that will be used to counter problem must contain risk and crisis management strategies to avoid uncontrollable disasters. Fourth, entities, whether that is private or public, must collaborate with each other provide the best achievable result for the nation. Fifth, the established methodologies should be reliable and undisclosed to indicate trust in a nation. With these strategies, Cambodia could deconstruct the necessary methodologies and re-engineer a strategy which could fit the position that the nation currently in.