Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The number of internet users in Indonesia has reached some 132 million, making it is crucial for the country to develop reliable cybersecurity mechanisms.

Effective cybersecurity reduces the risks of cyber attacks and protects entities, organizations, and individuals from the deliberate exploitation of systems, networks, and technologies.

In June 2017, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated a national cyber agency called National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN).

The agency was launched following a global ransomware attack by the WannaCry virus, which affected more than 150 countries around the world, including Indonesia, in May last year.

The president has later strengthened the role of the BSSN by stipulating the Presidential Regulation No. 133 of 2017, which was signed on Dec 16, 2017.

"This is a very important agency, and in future, it is necessary, especially to take precautionary measures in the face of rapid developments in the cyber world," Jokowi remarked recently.

According to the Presidential Regulation No. 133 of 2017 on BSSN, the agency directly comes under the president and is accountable to him.

The BSSN is responsible for detecting and preventing cybercrimes and maintaining cybersecurity in effective and efficient ways by utilizing, developing, and consolidating all components related to cybersecurity.

On Jan 3, 2018, Jokowi installed Major General of the Indonesian Army, Djoko Setiadi, as head of the BSSN at the State Palace.

The BSSN chief`s inauguration is in line with the Presidential Regulation No. 53 of 2017, signed on May 19, 2017, on the establishment of BSSN. Under the regulation, the BSSN chief has ministerial-level authority.

Setiadi was born in Surakarta. After graduating from high school in 1977, he enrolled at the State Encryption Academy. He had served as head of the National Encryption Agency (Lemsaneg) for some seven years.

After his inauguration, Setadi revealed that his office will use the latest sophisticated technology in counterterrorism to assist the National Police.

"We will help the National Police Headquarters in counterterrorism. Of course, there will be sharing (of information), and we will also use the latest technology to detect (and) locate. We will share whatever we find with the authorities, in this case the Police," he stated.

He noted that terrorism has penetrated the cyber world through the communication system, which is usually good and difficult to penetrate.

"We have prepared everything. If there is a cyber attack anywhere, we must face it using technology," he added.

The agency will also detect and monitor hoaxes that could affect the national unity.

He remarked that the new agency is a revitalization of the State Encryption Institute (Lemsaneg) that he had headed previously.

"(According to) the president`s directives, we must also be able to prioritize the protection of Indonesian citizens," he added.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto has expressed his appreciation that Indonesia had finally got the BSSN, as cyber security is a must for the nation.

The cybersecurity agency is crucial for Indonesia in responding to the global, regional, and national developments, he said, adding that previously, cybersecurity was handled by a cyber desk in Wiranto`s office.

Although the BSSN chief is directly accountable to the President, the coordination on cybersecurity, which involves BSSN, the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI), the National Intelligence Agency (BIN), the National Counter Terrorism Agency (BNPT) and the National Narcotic Agency (BNN), is under Wiranto.

Meanwhile, Deputy House Speaker Agus Hermanto has expressed his optimism that under the leadership of Major General Djoko Setiadi, the agency would be able to deal with various challenges because of its intelligence function.

The agency`s other functions include security and communication in the cyber world, the Democratic Party`s politician stated.

Another legislator, Abdul Kharis Almasyari is of the view that it is crucial for the BSSN chief to work in synergy with other institutions related to cybersecurity.

"The current condition demands the agency to work immediately in synergy with all institutions related to cybersecurity demands. I hope the BSSN could protect crucial sectors in the country in future," Almasyari, who is Chairman of the Commission I of the House of Representative (DPR), noted in a statement.

The Parliament`s Commission I, as a partner of the BSSN, had been waiting for the agency for long, he added.

The politician of the Justice and Prosperous Party (PKS) reminded that the BSSN is an independent institution, which does not support any political interests, but the national interest.

"I am sure that as we approach the legislative and presidential elections, cybersecurity challenges would become more dynamic and would need better handling," he remarked.

Besides, the agency must be able to protect the country`s infrastructure, including data of the public sector, finance, and transportation, from hackers, including foreign hackers, he explained.

Zulkifli Hasan, Chairman of the People`s Consultative Assembly (MPR), hoped that the BSSN, which will monitor information circulating in the cyber world, could minimize cyber crimes.

Progress is inevitable in the cyber world; therefore, the presence of BSSN is crucial, he revealed.

He also lauded the appointment of Setiadi as head of the BSSN. "He is a good and straightforward person. We pray that he would be able to perform his duties smoothly," he noted.


Reporter: Fardah Assegaf
Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2018