Minister vows to beef up cybersecurity

China has vowed to beef up the construction of a cybersecurity system-where government, enterprises and industry associations will strengthen their cooperation and laws and regulations related to cybersecurity will be improved-the top industry regulator said on Tuesday.

The move will boost the deep integration of the real economy and the internet, the regulator added.

“We will step up efforts to promote the construction of information infrastructure, expand broadband network coverage, and build up the industrial internet platform,” Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei told the China Internet Conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

Miao emphasized the importance of international cooperation, protection of data security and improvement of the regulatory system.

“We should continuously make breakthroughs in a number of core and key technologies related to cybersecurity,” he said.

Miao added that the ministry will build up the country’s capability in cybersecurity to help the integration of manufacturing and internet advance in a stable and sustainable way.

Yang Xiaowei, deputy director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said that with the rapid growth of the internet, cloud computing and big data, a lot of cybersecurity challenges had emerged.

“We should strengthen the governance of cybersecurity and make innovations in core intelligent hardware and the whole industrial chain,” Yang said, adding that high-quality staff needed to be attracted to the construction of the internet infrastructure.

Qi Xiangdong, chairman of 360 Business Security Group, an internet security company affiliated to Qihoo 360 Technology Co, said that cyber security was of the utmost urgency, and there was a pressing need to build a brand new cybersecurity system in China.

He said data will likely be one of the major targets of hackers and online criminals in the coming decades.

“The recent WannaCry ransomware virus highlights hacker’s rising intentions for cyber attacks aimed at governments, institutions and enterprises. Such cyberattacks will become even more rampant in the future.”

According to Qi, there is still a large gap between China and the United States, as the input of cybersecurity in China accounts for less than one percent of total IT investment, while it takes up 15 percent in the US.

“We aim to work with the government and industry organizations, to create a better environment and bring vitality to the development of the booming internet sector,” he added.

Zhang Tianqi, an expert with Tophant Security Co, an internet security solutions provider, said the cooperation among authorities, companies and industry associations showed the importance and urgency of cybersecurity.

“Along with the diversification of internet business, such as the popular audio-visual programs and live-streaming platforms, the risks of being attacked by a virus are also on the rise,” Zhang said.

Zhang added that companies should play an active role in conducting tests to find security holes and promote the establishment of an industry standard and cybersecurity system.

The country released an emergency response plan for internet security incidents on June 27 to improve handling of cybersecurity incidents, and prevent and reduce damage.

The plan divides cybersecurity incidents into six categories, including pernicious procedural incidents, cyberattacks and information security incidents.