Taiwan faces a particularly large cybersecurity challenge, as it experiences 20-40 million attempts to infiltrate government, business, and private websites, networks, and machines every month. Although most of these attacks are attributed to Chinese hackers, Taiwan’s affluence, high rates of quality broadband and wireless connectivity, and until recently a fairly lax attitude towards cybersecurity have made it an inviting target for hackers around the world. In recent years, an Eastern European gang infiltrated the network of financial giant First Bank, causing ATMs around the island to “jackpot” – spitting out all of their cash, at designated times, bringing NT$70 million in losses (about US$2.3 million). A later attack on Far Eastern Bank’s overseas operations netted hackers some NT$1.8 billion (around US$60 million).
This makes cyber-security Taiwan’s most pressing national security issue. This is not a case of protecting the country from the risk of future attacks, it is about defending Taiwan against current attacks already underway. Viewing cybersecurity as a matter of national security, in May 2018, authorities in Taiwan passed the Information and Communication Management Act (ICM Act) in response to the increasing awareness of potential malicious cyberattacks targeting the public and private sectors. The government has also promoted a number of initiatives for enhancing its cybersecurity sector, including adoption of the National Strategy for Cybersecurity Development Program (2017-2020), which integrates cybersecurity industry development into Taiwan’s 5+2 Industrial Innovation Plan.
While threats, attacks and risks continue to pile up, conclusively the challenge organisations were about to face in 2019 aren't insurmountable. The crucial aspect of managing them successfully is staying up-to-date with security systems understanding probable future threats and pacing back to comprehend big-picture trends that are driving them.
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