Indonesia has created a cybersecurity agency, and it’s not just a token gesture. The new agency chief will report directly to President Joko Widodo and has been given significant resource and a large area of responsibility. With upcoming elections and global security concerns, Indonesia doesn’t want to be seen as a good place for cybercrime specialists to set up shop. The first job of the agency will be to ensure the fake news phenomenon that plagued the American elections doesn’t make its way to Indonesia. A large part of the momentum gained by small groups of bloggers was through the duplication and manipulation of mainstream news stories on copycat sites. In other words, trademark and copyright violation.
Additionally, the new entity will have to deal with the potential fallout from Bitcoin’s resurgence and other associated online currencies that are a prime target for online criminals. There is also the matter of terrorism, which so far the cybersecurity agency has remained quiet on, perhaps sensibly.
Cybercriminals will be disappointed in this eventuality as Indonesia presents a perfect storm of population, technology and locality. As a pathway to the lucrative economies of Asia, the country would have been an ideal breeding ground for the next generation of illegal hackers. Likewise, a more technologically astute generation of extremists – both left and right wing – would have enjoyed Indonesia’s sprawling islands and the relative autonomy offered by them.
The new agency is said to be announcing hundreds of hires over the next period, with growth expected to increase exponentially after that. Initial estimates put optimum first stage staffing at around 1200 people, which is great news for the next generation of graduates who have needed to move offshore as a result of an excess in available labour.
This could also have a flow-on effect on the technology sector as a whole, especially as a robust security service can underpin a solid technology sector.