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Government agencies seriously lacking security experts
  • | VietnamNet | May 06, 2011 11:55 PM

Vietnam has been warned that it will not succeed in building up an e-government and become an information technology power if it cannot settle the current deficiency of information security experts.

Lacking security experts – a serious hole

In fact, lacking information security experts is the big problem of almost countries now, when the “information war” tends to escalate, and the cyberspace has become a new “battle”. And Vietnam is not an exception.

In fact, lacking information security experts is the big problem of almost countries now, when the “information war” tends to escalate, and the cyberspace has become a new “battle”. And Vietnam is not an exception.

Nguyen Minh Duc, Director of the Security Division of Bach Khoa Internetwork Security Centre (BKIS), said that many holes have been existing in the networks of many ministries, branches and enterprises in Vietnam, because the agencies and enterprises do not have the staff in charge of information security. In 2010, about 1,000 big websites were attacked by hackers. The same figure was also reported for 2009.

The lack of information security experts has also caused headaches to the ministries and branches which are considered as the “pioneers” in applying information technology. The Ministry of Finance is an example.

Le Linh Chi, Head of the Network Management and Information Security under the Ministry of Finance, said the units belonging to the ministry all have network administrators, who are implementing the information security works such as running firewalls and other security systems. However, the experts, who can embrace all the sides of the information security and consider all aspects of information security, are still lacking even at systematic units like the General Department of Taxation, General Department of Customs and the State Treasury.

At the Ministry of Finance, the Network Management and Information Security Division has been established, but it still cannot fulfill necessary things in information security. Right in 2007, Deputy Minister of Finance Pham Sy Danh asked to build up a master strategy on information security, but to date, this has not become realistic yet.

Vietnam urged to improve education and recruitment mechanism

Experts have pointed out that one of the reasons behind the lack of information security experts is the lack of the schools specialising in training information security experts.

Therefore, most of the information security officers only have general degrees in information technology, and they only begin learning more about information security themselves or attending specific training courses after they are assigned to work as security officers.

“BKIS itself also needs a big number of officers in information security. We are organising many training courses to serve our demand ourselves,” Duc said.

BKIS is considering establishing a school specialising in network security training in order to provide the labor force to government agencies and domestic enterprises.

The lack of information security experts is so serious in the world that many countries now use hire hackers as well to expand the “cyber warriors”. However, what to do to maintain the loyalty and patriotism of the hackers remains an open question.

In Vietnam, the main channel for government agencies to recruit information security experts is the public servant recruitment examinations. Meanwhile, this recruitment method has not been highly appreciated due to many problems.

“Many candidates failed to become our officers just because they did not pass the “state administration management” exam subject, even though they had excellent information technology skills,” Chi said.

Meanwhile, government agencies are now facing the so called “brain-drain”. A lot of officers, after a long period of working for government agencies, when they got more experience, leave the agencies for private companies, which offer higher pay.

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