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International relations

Southeast Asia boosts cybersecurity training with Bangkok center

Japan's NEC helps train agencies and companies as threats increase

Trainees at the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Center use simulations to practice identifying and handling threats. (Photo by Hiroshi Kotani)

BANGKOK -- Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations opened a cybersecurity training center here on Friday to combat the growing threat of digital attacks as cross-border investment in the region rises and connected technologies like the "internet of things" spread.

The Bangkok facility, dubbed the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Center, will share expertise on how to identify and defend against such attacks.

"Not only Thailand but every ASEAN member state is experiencing more sophisticated cyberthreats, whereas the cybersecurity personnel are not yet sufficient," said Surangkana Wayuparb, executive director and CEO of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency, a Thai government group that leads the project.

About 650 people from public authorities and information infrastructure companies in Southeast Asia are expected to receive training in the first four years. Japanese technology company NEC provides the training system.

Cyberattacks can result in the theft of sensitive information or even incapacitate governments and companies. ASEAN members agreed to cooperate more closely on cybersecurity during an April conference in Singapore. The countries vowed to create a "secure and resilient regional cyberspace that serves as an enabler of economic progress, enhanced regional connectivity and betterment of living standards for all."

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