Nowadays, government entities, private organizations, and the public are all part of the digital world as cyber technologies continue to facilitate quick and convenient access through a range of services. For example, transferring money through an online application means we no longer need to go to the bank in person and sending documents via email allows people to share considerable amounts of important information in just a few seconds. However, technological convenience can also be a double-edged sword, with privacy or security issues sometimes being overlooked until they eventually become a widespread issue of fraud, identity theft, or cyber ransoms that can reach as far as major global organizations. ‘Cybersecurity’ has therefore become vital, requiring close collaboration between all parties to build effective security systems and accelerate cybersecurity workforce development to provide timely responses to future cyber threats and a preparedness to embrace upcoming opportunities and challenges in the future.
The National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) recognizes the importance of developing a digital and cybersecurity workforce for the rapidly changing labor market. To this end, they collaborated with leading technology solutions provider Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. to organize the ‘Thailand Cyber Top Talent 2023’ competition. The competition aims to elevate the cyber skills of the next generation of digital talents, upskilling them to become cybersecurity experts. This initiative is one of the top strategic initiatives in Thailand’s education system to empower a future digital workforce to enter the job market within both the public and private sector.
Thailand Cyber Top Talent 2023 was separated into three tiers – school, university, and public levels. The Rebooster team – former winners from the Royal Police Cadet Academy – won first place for the second consecutive year after defeating 354 other teams from across the country. This is the first time a higher educational institution has won the competition for two years in a row. The winning team members, including Pol.Cdt. Wannakorn Nunpradit, Pol.Cdt. Tassanai Manit, and Pol.Cdt. Sudrit Wongsuwan, will represent Thailand in the Cyber SEA Games 2023 together with other winners from across the region.
Pol.Cdt. Sudrit Wongsuwan, from the winning Rebooster team, shared his valuable experience gained from Thailand Cyber Top Talent 2023: “This competition allowed me to meet new friends and exchange knowledge with them regarding Thailand’s cybersecurity industry. During the competition, I learned about many different hacking techniques as we were challenged to solve problems and hack various systems and websites. While one team played the role of the hacker, the opposing team would be the defender. My team played both roles and analyzed file logs as part of our strategy. In the end, our team gained the highest total score out of all 831 participants and won first place. Before participating in the competition, I had extensive training in cybersecurity from the Royal Police Cadet Academy through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that allows us to deploy Huawei Cloud technologies. In future, I would like to work at the Central Investigation Bureau as they hire police officers with extensive cybersecurity skills to investigate and arrest alleged leaders of illegal websites, such as gambling websites or call center gangs. Some of us might also end up working in forensic services and will examine destroyed physical evidence such as hard drives. Whenever there is a cyber competition, I’m delighted to find out that Thai people are interested in it. Furthermore, this kind of competition helps equip me with all kinds of knowledge, and I believe that many Thai people would be excited to gain more knowledge about cybersecurity as well.”
He also stated that to build effective cybersecurity measures in Thailand, various organizations must provide Thai people with more information and knowledge about cybersecurity, such as information about call center gangs, phishing methods, or how to develop a fully secure website that is more protected against hacking. Past data has shown that websites around the world, including Thailand, are vulnerable to cyber attackers because website owners do not use a digital service that has a high enough level of security or write secure enough code, so hackers can easily penetrate their systems.
Pol.Cdt. Wannakorn Nunpradit added: “Innovative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) are another tool that can help protect against cyber threats. However, accuracy rates are still low, and it can only be deployed at a basic level for now. Therefore, we must wait for future program development. Currently, Huawei and other developers’ cybersecurity systems have been designed to effectively protect against malicious attacks. These products are regularly updated to provide robust defense engines to uncover new system vulnerabilities, as every system has its own hidden vulnerable points. In my opinion, Huawei cyber defense technology is excellent because the system can provide easy and clear threat detection.”
This competition marks an important achievement in NCSA’s digital workforce training program aimed at building digital personnel for Thailand’s government agencies, which is currently available to only 0.5% of a total 460,000 headcount. The Thailand Cyber Top Talent competition is part of a strategic collaboration with Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. to develop Thailand’s digital workforce, and has now been running for three consecutive years. This initiative empowers Thailand’s digital workforce through various educational activities, competitions, training programs, and secure program coding methods while supporting various types of network engineer certifications and exams.
Following NCSA’s digital workforce development initiative, Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Co., Ltd. aims to further promote Thailand’s cybersecurity by deploying leading technologies to upskill digital workforces across various sectors. In addition, Huawei continues to support various cyber skill competitions by partnering with the NCSA and other government agencies to unleash Thailand’s digital potential through workforce skill enhancement in line with its mission to ‘Grow in Thailand, Contribute to Thailand’, driving Thailand towards becoming a future sustainable digital hub for the region.