Kathmandu, Nepal: Microsoft recently concluded a series of events targeting government officials, finance sector professionals and SMEs in Nepal discussing the importance of cyber security and economic opportunities of digital transformation. Department of IT, Ministry of Science and Communication partnered with Microsoft in conducting the conference themed “Technology & Cybercrime”.
Delivering the keynote address at this event, Birendra Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of communication and Information Technology, The Chief of Information Technology’ Division stated; “Preparing our nation for the digital age is extremely important for economic and societal growth. 4th industrial revolution is giving the knowledge and tools our people need so they could keep unlocking opportunities anywhere in the world. This is a journey and not a destination and I am glad we have organizations such as Microsoft partnering with us in this digital transformation journey”
Microsoft partnered with Nepal Banker’s Association in conducting a round table discussion involving Banking sector decision makers with the theme “Perils of Cybercrime”. Chintamani Siwakoti, Deputy Governor, Nepal Rastra Bank delivered the keynote address at this event. CEOs and COOs of leading FSI sector organizations discussed on emerging threats of cyber criminals and attacks thereby importance of making cyber security a board room discussion and not limit this to the IT heads. The Chief Guest Siwakoti also shared that the regulators are aware of the important role played by Fintech especially in the banking sector. He added that looming cyber threats has created a huge risk in financial stability, and it is important for the banks to adapt strong security measures. He also shared that NRB is in the final stages of revising the IT Policy and factors related to cyber security policies shall also be looked into.
Gyanendra P. Dhungana, President, NBA highlighted the importance of technology in banking sector and, efforts and resources banks have been investing to strengthen their IT infrastructure. He added that programs like this will help to raise further awareness by highlighting IT related risks including rising cases of cybercrime.
Microsoft also conducted a conference named “What does it take to breach a lock” targeting small and medium businesses in Nepal explaining the risks of none genuine software and opportunities associated with right licensing products such as Office 365.
Expressing her views about the importance of digital transformation and cyber security in Nepal, Sonia Bashir Kabir, Managing Director of Microsoft Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Laos stated; “Digital transformation can unlock massive capabilities for emerging markets such as Nepal enabling us to leapfrog and seize opportunities out there in the world. A Frost & Sullivan study commissioned by Microsoft revealed that the potential economic loss across Asia Pacific due to cybersecurity incidents can hit a staggering US$1.745 trillion. This is more than seven percent of the region’s total GDP of US$24.3 trillion. The study reveals that more than half of the organizations surveyed have either experienced a cybersecurity incident (25%) or are not sure if they had one as they have not performed proper forensics or data breach assessment (27%). This certainly is a strong call for decision makers in both public and private sector organizations to take preventive action in fighting cyber crime in emerging markets such as Nepal”.
For more information on the study, titled; “Understanding the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape in Asia Pacific: Securing the Modern Enterprise in a Digital World”, please visit: https://news.microsoft.com/apac/features/cybersecurity-in-asia/
To better understand the cyberthreats happening globally and in Asia Pacific, please download the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report Volume 23 here.
 World Bank’s Asia Pacific GDP information: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD