On the 12th of December, National ICT Day 2022, Inspira Advisory & Consulting Limited and USAID jointly organized a webinar featuring some of the country’s most prominent leaders of the E-Commerce sector & Cybersecurity experts to launch the Cybersecurity Awareness Website & discuss the current challenges of Cybersecurity in Bangladesh & how to fight against them.
As Bangladesh’s e-commerce industry continues to advance rapidly with a thriving expectation to exceed $7 Billion in 2023, it is crucial to protect cyberspace and thriving e-commerce MSMEs. Bangladesh has designated December 12 as National ICT Day to accelerate the Digital Bangladesh initiative. USAID is honored to acknowledge this day by launching the Cybersecurity Awareness Website and assisting in the creation of a more conducive environment for Bangladesh’s e-commerce sector.
Taking part in the discussion as panelists, were Mr. Md Najmul Islam, Additional Deputy Police Commissioner of Cybercrime division, CDC, DMP, also the honorable chief guest of the webinar, who inaugurated the Cybersecurity Awareness Website, Mr. Tanvir Hasan Zoha, Associate professor of Bangladesh University of Business and Technology, Mrs. Kaniz Fatema, CEO of Bangladesh Open Source Network (BdOSN), Mrs. Sanzida Chowdhury Swarna, Founder of Shreya Bangladesh & Mrs. Irin Parveen, Executive Director of Women & E-commerce.
The discussion began with a look back at various types of cyber security frameworks like the CIA Triad which is typically used to help small and medium-sized businesses understand how to make some very simple tasks into everyday routines as a kick-starter or at the start of a firm. The presenter Mr.Saimum additionally shares some of the best international practices for MSME owners, such as The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights which states that-
“States should promote respect for human rights by business enterprises with which they conduct a commercial transaction”
This implies that MSME owners must understand their rights under the policy and how these rights apply to their firms.
Presenter Mr.Saimum also pointed out some of the crucial policies that are compulsory for maintaining the internet hygiene of businesses. Policies include Digital e-commerce policy, Digital e-commerce policy, and UN Personal Data Protection Principles.
Shortly after the presentation, a panel discussion started on “How MSME Owners Can Adopt Cybersecurity Best Practices” both in their personal and business life. Among the panelists Mrs. Sanzida Chowdhury Swarna acknowledged the concern by mentioning the relationship between delivery agencies & entrepreneurs. She warned the MSMEs by saying,
“We saw thousands of such issues that whenever an entrepreneur put their trust in unpopular delivery agencies and then because of a data breach or mishandling the entrepreneur had to face huge losses & they don’t know where to seek help“
Panelist Mrs. Irin Parveen added to the point Mrs. Sanzida mentioned, These kind of untraceable scams can affect a small-scale business by a big margin & also can demotivate them on operating their business online. And from a broader perspective, she also stated that,
“There are no comprehensive initiatives, especially at the urban level, which is fundamental at this point. They don’t even know where to focus, or how to make and keep passwords secure. They have some technical limitations in these sectors. Consequently, I wish to see more awareness initiatives and campaigns in these areas of concern.”
From BDoSN Mrs. Kaniz Fatema Ma’am shared her perspective on the topic by saying,
Being aware of cyber vulnerabilities is extremely crucial before starting a business online. Because in the majority of the business page hacking cases the owners mentioned that they were unaware of such incidents & thus never had proper internet hygiene.
After the successful panel discussion session, The honorable chief guest of the event ADC Mr. Najmul Islam Inaugurated the Cyber Security Awareness Website & took a quick tour of the website features. The website includes multiple Cybersecurity promotional activities as well as suggestions on how to be secure online, capacity-building workshops & training. And also features a section where entrepreneurs may take a quiz to evaluate their cyber awareness. And They may also learn which exercises can help them stay safe by taking the quiz. Once the quiz, they will obtain a badge, indicating that they have passed the first step. & lastly, a hotline number is provided on the website for the MSMEs for taking immediate action on any form of cyber vulnerability.
After the successful launch, The chief guest ADC Md. Najmul Islam brought up some essential advice for MSME owners on taking rapid action against cyber attacks. Md Najmul Islam warned the MSME owners on sharing OTP numbers. Because sharing an OTP with a hacker it signifies that one of your multi factor authentications has been compromised. Other elements can be gathered from you through emotional intelligence or unscrupulous means. He also advised that
“Use at least one of the authentication factors. And anyone operating a business or planning to start a business must have a legal channel with the government, which entails a registration and trade license. It will be easy to obtain services this way. Otherwise, you may not be able to receive assistance from the government“.
Lastly, the webinar ended with a short thanksgiving speech from the USAID representatives with warm gratitude to the panelists for being extremely informative & proactive throughout the discussion. The live session with MSME owners and significant industry leaders, discussing cyber risks and empowering them with relevant information and solutions, is a useful and impactful step taken against cybersecurity threats.