National Security in Digital Economy: Redefinition, Reaction and Legal Reform

By: Sonny Zulhuda

This is my latest paper that I recently presented in the 1st International Conference on International Relations and Development (ICIRD) organised by a consortium of Thai top universities, and held in the beautiful campus of Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand.

This paper investigates the need for global government and especially Malaysia to relook at and redefine the concept of national security amid the changing circumstances especially in relation to the country’s increased reliance on the information and communications technology (ICT).

The challenge is, the more a governance system is exposed to the Internet and ICT, the bigger the risks it would face. When the security of the system is not reliable enough to secure the system, information assets are at stake and the country’s critical information infrastructure (such as defence, communications, energy and medical systems) would become loophole that undermines national security.

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Towards a secure and sustainable Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) – Policy & Legal Frameworks

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Above is the title of my paper that has been approved for presentation at the International Symposium on Social Management Systems (SSMS 2010) to be held in March this year in Kochi, Japan. The abstract reads as follows:

The increasing reliance of critical infrastructures (such as those operating the national communications, energy, transport, and defence systems) on a computerized and networked environment imposes an enormous security task for both their operators and users. The fact that attack to critical infrastructure is not merely an ordinary criminal matter but rather an issue of national security makes it more urgent for policy-makers to come up with policies or laws addressing various issues ranging from information sharing to public-private cooperation, from technical solutions to security procedures, and from public awareness to law enforcement.

Looking at the scope it covers and the role it plays, the law on critical information infrastructures is so critical not only because it is part of national security measures, but also because the law may well determine the level of national readiness for landing a global investment. This is true because major business processes are now dependent on the secure information technology tools and networks. The biggest task ahead for policy-makers is therefore to prepare the best legal framework to protect the country’s critical information infrastructure and, at least, to manage and minimise the security risks that surround a networked environment.

This paper hypothesizes that security risk management of the critical information infrastructure can not be effectively sustained without a comprehensive framework that consists of, among others, good policies and legal framework. In Malaysia, the legal framework on CII can be found in several pieces of legislation. This paper seeks to discuss the role of the law especially on the restriction of access to and movement in the perimeters of CII as well as the law on computer and network security

KEYWORDS: critical information infrastructure, legal framework

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