Radhiyya Indra, Jakarta – A global report from security company Fortinet shows that cyberattacks in Asia mostly take place because of the countries' shortage of specialists.
After two years of virtual meetings, one of the world's biggest cybersecurity companies Fortinet welcomed businesspeople and tech enthusiasts back with a big social event full of panels and exhibition booths at the Grand Hyatt in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Opening the media luncheon, Fortinet Indonesia country director Edwin Lim shared many of the company's aspirations, but he mainly focused on the cybersecurity landscape in Indonesia.
"We have partnered with regulators such as the National Cyber and Crypto Agency [BSSN] and the Industry Ministry to educate the market. In this case, the industrial area," Edwin said in his talk.
Fortinet, established in 2000 and headquartered in California, the United States, has been in Indonesia since 2010.
But with more people relying on the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic, more cyberattacks also became possible. A recent global survey by Fortinet showed that 72 percent of cyberattacks in Asia were due to the lack of skilled, qualified specialists in the field.
"[In Indonesia], the gap is not from [a shortage of] talents," Edwin clarified, saying there were talented Indonesians already. "But it is their skills. We can't have graduates whose knowledge is still [about cybersecurity] in the '90s or early '00s. What we are implementing these days is different. Only in recent years have we seen more universities with a major in cybersecurity," Edwin said.
Indonesia is especially vulnerable to cyberattacks. Just last year, the data of more than 200 million Indonesians were breached and stolen by hackers. The BSSN stated that Indonesia was among the top 10 countries with the most sources and targets of anomalies in cybersecurity, with up to 1 billion attacks targeted on Indonesia.
"What a lot of people actually don't know is guys who try to take advantage of us on the internet are like normal businesses. It's not just a single individual, these are people working together," security strategist Jonas Walker said during the luncheon.
This is why the Fortinet team was pushing for more certifications for Indonesians in the future.
"Fortinet promises 1 million trained specialists in 2026, and through our collaboration with local partners, we have issued more than 840,000 certificates since the program started," said Fortinet's vice president of Marketing and Communications in Asia Rashish Pandey in a press release.
Fortinet's Southeast Asia and Hong Kong vice president, Peerapong Jongvibool, also noted that they needed external help to realize their goal.
"Developed countries like Hong Kong and Singapore have cybersecurity as policy from the government down to the different levels [of society]. So we require a lot of support from all organizations, like [the media], government and probably the Education Ministry to be part of this as well," Peerapong said.