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Ministry of Economic Affairs,R.O.C.

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2020-07-17 18:20
Department of International Cooperation

Taiwan, U.S. hold cybersecurity forum to boost collaboration, exchanges

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2020 U.S.-Taiwan Cybersecurity Forum-photo
The 2020 U.S.-Taiwan Cybersecurity Forum was held in Taipei City on July 17, with cybersecurity experts from government and industry of the two sides taking part to share their insights on the latest trends and developments in this growing sector.

The cybersecurity forum – the first held in Taiwan this year -- was jointly organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Department of International Cooperation (ICD) and the American Institute in Taipei (AIT), with the aim of fostering closer bilateral cybersecurity exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and the United States and enhancing their respective capabilities in the sector.

Speaking at the forum’s opening, Minister of Economic Affairs Mei-Hua Wang noted that the 2020 U.S. National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Donald Trump includes provisions for engaging in collaboration with Taiwan on cybersecurity, which she said clearly demonstrates Taiwan’s frontline role in Washington’s global cybersecurity strategy. With the roll-out of 5G networks, cybersecurity will only grow in importance, she said, expressing the hope that the two sides could combine their complementary strengths in this field to combat common threats and take a leading role in 5G technologies.

In his opening remarks, AIT Director William Brent Christensen noted that Taiwan passed the Cyber Security Management Act in 2019 to accelerate the building of a comprehensive cybersecurity environment. In addition, many Taiwanese enterprises have in recent times set up information security departments, illustrating that private sector firms on the island place great importance on cybersecurity matters. He also emphasized that cybersecurity will be a key focal point in the transition from 4G to 5G.

The AIT Director concluded by saying that Taiwan-U.S. collaboration on cybersecurity could include cooperation between government agencies as well as between enterprises in the health, key infrastructure and financial industries of the two sides, thereby combining the strengths of the public and private sectors to form an unbreakable knot.

Participants in the forum agreed that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial increase in reliance on online services, such as for remote working and virtual meetings, which has further highlighted the importance of cybersecurity. There was also consensus on the need for greater cross-border cooperation to construct effective and comprehensive cyber defenses that close any loopholes which might be exploited by malicious attacks aimed at stealing confidential information, disrupting operations or causing other harm. Moreover, the introduction of 5G networks, which will hasten the spread of the Internet of Things, and the emergence of technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data will only increase the scale of cyber threats, making the adoption of cybersecurity measures ever more critical in both the public and private sectors.

According to forecasts, the global cybersecurity market is expected to top US$133 billion by the year 2022, which presents enormous commercial opportunities. Promoting partnerships and collaboration between the Taiwan and U.S. cybersecurity sectors will help both sides to enhance their competitiveness to tap such opportunities, as well as boost their capabilities to defend against the aforementioned growing array of threats.