Summary of Training IV: Cybersecurity, Privacy & Safer Internet

According to a survey by management consultancy – Ernst & Young, CEOs see cybersecurity as the number one threat to the global economy over the next five to ten years.

With the growing concerns and issues around cybersecurity and digital privacy, on 30th January, NetMission.Asia conducted an online training webinar for their ambassadors of batch 2019-20 on the topic: Cybersecurity, Privacy, and Safer Internet.

During training, Ambassador Ibni Inggriant presented insights on cybersecurity, cyberattacks, cybercrime, privacy vs. security and data governance. She explained cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks.

Another Ambassador Pratik Ghumade spoke about surveillance (state & consumer surveillance), policymaking (cybersecurity & privacy), and protecting at-risk individuals &  groups in the modern digital age.

His presentation included a David Lyon’s (Head of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University) definition of surveillance: “the focused, systematic and routine attention to personal details for purposes of influence, management, protection or direction.”

Over the decades, as technology is advancing, surveillance is becoming easier and easier. In this age of surveillance, protecting at-risk groups & individuals like journalists, public interest activists, and lawyers, whistleblowers, etc. is important. These people bring truth to society and they are becoming more vulnerable to assignments in dangerous places, but also in their daily routines, at home, in the newsroom, or on the road, as digital surveillance increases.

Guest speaker Satish Babu highlighted the rising threat of ransomware. In the summer of 2017, the IT infrastructures of some of the global companies started to cripple in different parts of the world. A group of hospitals in Pennsylvania started postponing some of the surgeries. Merck, Multinational drug maker companies’ offices in Ukraine stopped working and they had to stop vaccine production in one of their laboratories. The world’s largest shipping company Maersk had to reinstall 4000 servers, 45,000 PCs and 2500 applications and had to resort to manual systems for 10 days during the reinstall. In Ukraine, the radiation monitoring system of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant went offline. And many more malfunctions all over the world.

It was all because of the ransomware attack targeting Microsoft Windows-based systems globally.

He also explained Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) which is a stealthy computer network threat actor, typically a nation-state or state-sponsored group, which gains unauthorized access to a computer network and remains undetected for an extended period.

The training webinar then divided into two breakout groups to discuss policy questions. Ambassadors Aneesah Suhaidi and Shah Maruf Uddin Ahmad led the breakout group discussions. During the breakout group discussions, Around 40 ambassadors discussed, debated and put together their views on the important questions like:

  • Does national security outweigh the right to privacy?
  • How do/should companies handle our personal data? etc.

Also, Ambassador Ananya Singh questioned: Who gets to decide what is private to me? – which led to a very important discussion on the privacy topic by other ambassadors and speakers. At the end of the training, guest speaker Alejandra Prieto shared insights on encryption. She highlighted a point that everyone and every sector relies on encryption and many on end-to-end encryption whether they know it or not. And no matter the method, there is no such thing as “exceptional” (encryption backdoor) access. Criminals could discover and exploit the same way to get in. And bad guys will just use another encrypted service to communicate.

This training webinar by NetMission provided a platform for youth from Asia Pacific region to discuss and raise questions related to cybersecurity, privacy, and safer internet.

The working group IV of NetMission Ambassadors includes (Batch: 2019-20):

  • Aneesah Khadijah Binti Suhaidi
  • Ibni Inggriant
  • Pratik Ghumade
  • Shah Maruf Uddin Ahmad
  • Tun Yu Tang

The guest speakers for this training included:

  • Satish Babu, Chair of ISOC Trivandrum Chapter
  • Alejandra Prieto, Program Manager – Internet Leadership, Internet Society

About the writer
Pratik Ghumade (NetMission Ambassador of class 2019/20, India)
Bachelor of Arts, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)