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Protect SMEs in today's competitive & threatful digital economy

Posted by Ngoc Doan on

In recent years, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a central role in Vietnam’s economic growth, providing abundant job opportunities and boosting exports. However, despite accounting for 98 per cent of the country’s enterprises, 40 per cent of GDP and 50 per cent of employment, the performance of SMEs is still constrained by many factors, both internal and external, such as shortage of qualified human resources, limited access to technology as well as administrative hurdles.

Read more: 5 ways to optimise BI solutions for SMEs

APEC SME Digital Resilience training workshop was organised with the purpose of boosting SMEs digital competitiveness and resilience and facilitate their integration into the global supply and value chains. This workshop also offered training and networking to help guide the SMEs through the apex of challenges surrounding the digital world today.


The SME Digital Resilience training workshop in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is the fourth event and came after Kuala Lumpur, Taipei and Kaohsiung ones. The previous three workshops were a success and have contributed to building a transnational platform for young entrepreneurs and technology startups.

TRG International was honoured to be able to contribute to the training workshop with a presentation on Cybersecurity in Vietnam. With years of experience immersed in the field of cybersecurity, Mr. Rick Yvanovich, Founder and CEO of TRG international, provided many valuable insights and advice to help SMEs and start-ups to counteract cyber threats.

Reasons for weak cybersecurity

The ASEAN digital economy has experienced an exponential growth in recent years, and it has a potential to become a trillion-dollar economy in the next 10 years. However, cyber risks could impede trust and resilience in the digital economy, prevent the region from realising its full digital potential. Although various countries are beginning to extend their policies to encompass the digital playing field, cybersecurity still faces challenges for several reasons:

  • ASEAN countries have emerged as the launchpads for cyberattacks
  • Policy preparation is still nascent; it lacks institutional oversight and low levels of spending to fortify digital economies
  • A nascent local cybersecurity industry and the shortage of home-grown capabilities and expertise
  • A perception that cyber risk is an IT risk results in the absence of a holistic approach to cyber resilience
  • Multiple vendor relationships and product developments result in operational complexity, slowing times to detect and respond to attacks

Read more: Enterprise gains advantage from cloud security

Vietnam and the internet security

68% of SMEs are not at all prepared to face cyber threats. Small business owners easily fall under the assumption that they have nothing worth hacking so most of them do not have anything to countermeasure such threats. Especially in Vietnam, small business owners don't pay enough attention to cybersecurity. They just wait for a tragedy to happen. 

APEC SME digital resilienceAs you can see from the report, threats to information safety and cybersecurity in Vietnam are becoming more and more serious as technology progresses and the Internet becomes increasingly popular. The low awareness of cybersecurity among high-ranking officials, system operating staff and the general public is the major obstacle to cybersecurity in Vietnam. 

Read more: Information Security: The CFO as a Speared Whale


KeyPass and how to protect yourself first

According to international ICT news, KeyPass – a new form of ransomware - is spreading fast around the world, and Vietnam is one of the countries that have the highest percentage of Keypass ransomware infections. Therefore, Mr Rick recommends a few simple measures to protect the organisations against the ransomware: 


  • Download cracks as they are the major source of infections
  • Open attachments if you do not know who sent them
  • Open attachments until you confirm that the person actually sent you


  • Backup, Backup, Backup!
  • Scan attachments with your Antivirus tools
  • Make sure all Windows updates are installed
  • Make sure you have some forms of security software installed
  • Use hard passwords and never reuse the same password for multiple sites

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Topics: News, start-up, TRG, Digital Transformation


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 Rick Yvanovich
 /Founder & CEO/

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