Notwithstanding the geographic distance that separates us, when it comes to challenges in security and privacy, hearing stories from colleagues from NRENs and universities in Asia brings it close to home. Budget limitations, difficulties in hiring and retaining talent, lack of affordable training for staff and students – were some of the stories that were told at the CSIRT in Asia meeting that took place at the APAN47 conference in Daejeon, Korea on 18-19 February, as part of the CSIRT Capacity Building in Asia project.

The CSIRT in Asia meeting was organised jointly with a TRANSITS I training at APAN for the third time. The training was given by Jamie Gillespie, APNIC (Operational and Technical modules) and Nicole Harris, GÉANT (Organisational and Legal modules).

But plenty of good news were shared too!

Dr. (Ms.) Mie Mie Su Thwin from the University of Computer Studies, Yangon, Myanmar shared their success story in creating and running a Cyber Security Research Lab, which aims to attract researchers from various disciplines to contribute to the scientific aspects of cyber security. Having worked in CSIRT teams for many years, Dr. Mie Mie also mentors PhD students, some of whom are going on exchanges abroad.

Mr. Ashish Kumar from the National Knowledge Network (NKN) of India gave a talk on cyber security incidents in the banking sector and how these are solved by NKN’s well-established CERT team, that, in addition to incident response, also issues security advisories, manages certificates, monitors government websites and offers many other services.

Shahidah Binti Mahbob

Furthermore, it was very interesting to hear from Ms. Shahidah Binti Mahbob the chairwoman of the ISCC 2018 Cyber Security Campaign in Malaysia, which attracted more than 200 students, lecturers, security experts, executives, technical thought leaders, scientists and researchers nationwide for discussions on relevant security issues.

Those are only a few of the positive stories shared during the meeting and training that registered 23 participants across the two days. The next CSIRT Development in Asia event will take place at APAN48 in Malaysia in July 2019. We look forward to hearing many more success stories and looking together on how common challenges that cross borders can be overcome.