Experts on Monday recommended the drafting of a digital development act or basic information act, and urged the Ministry of Education to have universities establish information security departments or schools.
At a public hearing at the Legislative Yuan on the function and resource use of a planned ministry of digital development, National Sun Yat-sen University vice president Huang I-yu (黃義佑) said that he supports the government’s decision to establish the ministry.
Taiwan should follow Israel’s example and invest about NT$500 million (US$17.54 million) to attract talent to its cybersecurity sector, 20 percent of which should be subsidies to local firms, Huang said.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
The Ministry of Education should encourage universities to set up departments of cybersecurity, Huang said, adding that the information security sector should not be concentrated in northern Taiwan.
The government must draft a special law, geared toward developing the nation’s digital capabilities, with a commission that can spur digital innovation, not just oversee digital affairs, said Chien Chung-liang (錢宗良), a physician in National Taiwan University’s College of Medicine.
The government, by outsourcing too many projects, risks becoming out of touch with technological advancements, said Chen Chuan-hsi (陳泉錫), a former director of the Ministry of Finance’s Financial Data Center, adding that officials also lack effective measures to supervise the development, quality and security of new software.
The government should collaborate with white-hat hackers distributed among its agencies and conduct routine drills to help officials respond to attacks, he said.
A digital development agency needs to communicate across departments, and be capable of integrating existing information systems or innovating new ones, Chen said.
Chunghwa Telecom cybersecurity director Ma Hung-tsan (馬宏燦) said that the government should encourage entrepreneurship in cybersecurity by setting up a fund.
The government could help lay the foundation for cybersecurity at small and medium-sized enterprises, as they lack the means to defend themselves, Ma said.
Before establishing a ministry, the government should decide on its vision for digital development: whether it would regulate via legislation, as in Europe, or have firms self-regulate, as in Silicon Valley, TEDxTaipei founder Jason Hsu (許毓仁) said.
An agency in charge of digital innovation should not “absorb” talent from other agencies, Hsu said, adding that knowing how to use digitization as a management tool is key.
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