Establishment of Myanmar Information Security Association

11 July 2019

With the growth of technology users and the increasing number of social media users in Myanmar in recent year, cyber security is one of the most important subjects for all the sectors in Myanmar. But with very little knowledge on cyber security and less awareness program on it, the tech users in Myanmar are at risk from cyber-attacks and the forming of Myanmar Information Security Association is meant to provide security to businesses, standardization and spread the awareness to the public about the cyber security. The association aims to address the needs for the development of the information security in Myanmar. The launching ceremony of “Myanmar Information Security Association” was held on 9 July 2019 at MICT Park in Yangon.

Ko Mike Phone Myint, Risk Assurance Director at MISA, speaking to MI Radio on what this association is all about said, “Myanmar have a long history of IT world, we have minimum of 30 years of IT world in Myanmar. So within this IT framework, everyone wants to have security of their ITs. Indeed IT is existed to support the businesses, so we need an alignment between businesses and IT. The reason is businesses have their own needs, for example like airline ticketing, hotel booking and bank as well as the governmental sector. We have businesses requirements for these sectors. Within these sectors, security is the most important element because now we cannot run business without IT. Now as everyone uses mobiles, we cannot work even for a day without computer and we are relying so much on digital IT.”

“This cyber security system needs to be reliable, for that, I look at it from these perspectives. The first is “confidentiality” which is keeping the secret which should not be released to the public; it should be known to only those who should know. Another one is “integrity” where one’s data needs to be reliable and apart from the owner, no one should have access to it. Finally we have “availability” in which the stored data should be available to the user and the user is able to have access to the data when needed. These are the three main objectives of MISA, and MISA is to upgrade the information security system in Myanmar by spreading cyber security awareness program and promote advocacy on it.”

It is also learnt that there had been some events organized in the past to spread the awareness on cyber security but as there was no association, the effort to educate the people on cyber security was not a success one. Several sectors in Myanmar such as businesses, governmental sectors and other offices are in need of cyber security under one umbrella. But the government is yet to complete policy drawing on cyber security, therefore compared to other neighboring countries, Myanmar is still yet to have strong cyber security laws.

According to the report at the launching event of MISA, there have been several crimes and frauds committed by perpetrators and a huge amount of money had been lost but they were not reported to the public. Ko Lin Htun, Vice Chairman of MISA, speaking to MI Radio on using online safely , said, “All I want to tell to the public is that “Stay safe online”. It is good to use only secure and safe sites online especially keeping our own Facebook secure and other information such as mobile banking information, keep these information secure. But for all these we will soon have awareness program”.

Willinson