Cyber Security Still A Major Concern In Asia: Study
Online security is the area that warrants the most urgent attention from policymakers, according to the recently published Internet Society Survey on Policy Issues in Asia Pacific. The survey polled almost 2,000 end-users from across the region on their attitudes towards current Internet policy issues.
Access is still the primary concern for stakeholders, but Internet security has become top of mind, replacing cloud computing as the second-most followed topic by respondents, as tracked by the annual study. Moreover, 58% of respondents in the 2016 survey thought cybercrime was an issue that needed to be addressed by government, followed by connectivity (47%), data protection (45%) and privacy (44%). As connectivity has improved over the past year, 70% stated that they had experienced better Internet speed, and 55% saw a drop in the cost of their Internet subscription, but users are now turning their focus to online trust they experience.
Internet Society’s Regional Bureau Director for Asia-Pacific, Rajnish Singh explained, “The results of this year’s survey show that stakeholders in the region hold connectivity and security as paramount, and feel these need urgent attention from governments.”
“As trust online has become a key issue for Internet users throughout Asia Pacific, it’s clear that people feel that current policies are not doing enough to protect their privacy and security online,” he added.
The elements of trust online are multi-faceted and are reflected in the survey’s findings. A large proportion of respondents cited data protection (77%) as crucial for building confidence in the Internet. More than half also felt that consumer protection (54%), transparency (51%), and the ability to communicate confidentially (51%) were more important than content, service, technology and applications (45%).
While many believed that policies regarding online security in their country were largely compatible with their human and civil rights, this view did not extend to privacy online. The survey reveals that 59% of participants did not believe their privacy was protected online.
Some of the other major conclusions from the study included:
> Cybersecurity was the top issue that stakeholders felt needed attention from policymakers
> 77% of respondents did not have an opportunity to participate in policymaking for the Internet in the past year
> Only 9% thought that government policies on Internet security fully reflected their own online concerns
> 66% believed that government policies on Internet security are not fully appropriate to the real risks encountered online
Looking at India, the scenario of data security is itself under scrutiny. PM Narendra Modi’s government, had recently launched a $113 billion initiative to modernize the armed forces, and in between matters, the high-profile deal with DCNS making Scorpene class submarine, was leaked to The Australian newspaper.
This $37 billion deal was one of the most crucial deals undertaken by the nation’s security forces, and was obviously meant to be a secret for the all the sensitive information. The major take-away is, if India’s national defense elements are vulnerable as they have been in the DCNS leaks, matters need to be considered far more seriously to combat theft online, and more so for civilians who may not have the protection that defense establishment may have.
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