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National cyber security agency to be formed, says MTIC minister

Cyber Security | March 6, 2020

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – The government will establish a national cyber security agency and is currently drafting new cyber security laws, the minister of Transport and Infocommunications has revealed.
YB Dato Seri Setia Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohammad Yusof made the announcement during a closed-door dialogue with Legislative Council (LegCo) members on Thursday.
He said the establishment of Cyber Security Brunei (CSB) is still in its infancy, but that the country’s major cyber security services — such as Cyberwatch, National Digital Forensic Laboratory and BruCERT — are already operational and run by IT Protective Security Sdn Bhd in collaboration with the Internal Security Department as an interim cyber security centre.
The Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) has recently expanded its role to oversee issues such as cyber security, e-government, as well as science and technology.
Spelling out the ministry’s plans for 2020, YB Dato Abd Mutalib said the government aims to improve Brunei’s international rankings to become Top 4 in ASEAN in the Global Cybersecurity Index; Top 40 in the ICT Development Index and Top 40 in a United Nations E-Government Survey.
He told LegCo members that a draft of the Digital Economy Master Plan framework will be launched by the first quarter of this year.
The master plan aims to transform Brunei into a “smart nation”.
“MTIC through the Digital Economy Council secretariat is actively promoting the master plan framework to ministries, institutions of higher learning and various agencies including the private sector.
“This is to ensure there is coordination within the digital transformation initiative as well as to get stakeholders’ views on the Digital Economy Master Plan draft,” the minister said.
He also touched on the major restructure happening within the telco industry, that has seen all network infrastructure centralised under one agency.
This will level the playing field for all telcos, allowing them to focus on competitive retail operations, he added.
To support use of the latest technology for socio-economic development, 5G pilot projects are also in the pipeline between MTIC, Authority for Infocommunications Technology Industry and the telcos.
These pilot projects will explore the use of 5G technology in various aspects including transport, tourism and education.
MTIC will also implement several pilot smart public transport projects this year, using an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in public transport to create more efficient and reliable services.
YB Dato Abd Mutalib added that the Postal Services Department is set for corporatisation by April this year, which will see the department transformed into an autonomous entity while the government retains ownership.

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