Government to bring in Korean cyber security experts

Myanmar’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will partner with South Korean cybersecurity firm SK Telecom to develop Myanmar’s cyber security infrastructure. Under the partnership, SK Telecom will send cybersecurity experts to Myanmar to provide guidance and training to NCSC staff and help identify and remedy vulnerabilities. “We are pleased to establish our SOC with SK Telecom’s advanced technology and know-how in infrastructure security,” Channel Asia quoted NCSC director U Ye Naing Moe as saying. “We will work closely with SK Telecom to better protect Myanmar’s national intelligence and intelligence resources.”

Cyber security has been a top priority for the Ministry of Transport and Communications (which oversees the NCSC) as Myanmar develops its technological infrastructure. For decades, ordinary citizens had been all but cut off from the digital world. In the democratic era, Myanmar has gradually liberalized its telecommunications sector and poured vast amounts of resources into telecom infrastructure. The current COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan includes measures for boosting online commerce and digital payment platforms. However, Myanmar’s new generation of internet users have been plagued by hackers, phishing scams, fake news and other forms of digital malice. And as e-commerce services like Wave Money, and Yangon Door2Door gain popularity, the demand for tight cyber security has never been higher.

But the government’s efforts to regulate and protect its digital space have also been mingled with alleged acts of state censorship. An ongoing internet blackout in embattled parts of Rakhine State, which aims to hamper the intelligence of rebel fighters, has drawn widespread criticism from the international community. In another recent example, in March the government controversially ordered telecoms to block hundreds of web sites they claimed were spreading fake news and explicit content. Working with third party organizations such as SK Telecom may help the government strike a balance between cyber security and cyber suppression.

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