Organized by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration (SMEA), Ministry of Economic Affair (MOEA), the APEC SME Digital Resilience Training Workshop and Collaboration between Young Entrepreneurs of Kaohsiung & ASEAN will be held on July 13-14, 2017 in Kaohsiung. 100 startup teams, SME representatives, and experts from worldwide including New Southbound Policy Countries from Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia and other countries are to gather at this two-day event. The event’s purpose is to better prepare SMEs for cyber security risks.

“Efforts made to assist SMEs in digital transformation are seen not only in APEC, but also across the world,” said Dr. Ming-Ji Wu, Director General of SMEA. However, digital economy still has challenges despite its many benefits. Cyber security is an urgent topic that we need to be cautious about. The WannaCry ransomware attack in May 2017, for instance, has significantly affected global businesses and is a wakeup call.

In response to this growing concern, APEC SME Digital Resilience Training Workshop invites cybersecurity specialists from Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore to share their knowledge and experiences. The workshop aims to strengthen SMEs’ awareness and digital competitiveness and resilience capabilities, as well as cyber security management.

Global Tech Giants Fortify SME Security Defense
In collaboration with the Philippines and Malaysia, SMEA proposed “APEC Online-to-Offline (O2O) Initiative – Enhancing SME Digital Competitiveness and Resilience towards Quality Growth” which is now at the 2nd phase. In its grand opening at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center on July 13, 20 professionals from 7 economies who can train around 100 seed trainers with their cyber threats defending skills were invited. When returning home, they will be able to help local SMEs to reinforce digital competitiveness and resilience.

Aside from knowledge-based lectures, train-the-trainer courses are designed to simulate real cyber-attacks and create realistic experiences where participants can build up their abilities to make prompt decisions, and gain better understanding of procedures to safeguard their companies.

Through interactive and sharing sessions, seed trainers can play a role to facilitate cross-border cooperation, build stronger partnerships, and raise digital resilience and cyber security awareness for SMEs.

Seed trainers are responsible for introducing and implementing the training program in their own countries while teaching SMEs to build applicable security management systems. With the great amount of efforts putting in, SMEs in the Asia-Pacific region can defend themselves against cyber threats.

Deepen Cooperation in Southeast Asia
Chinese Taipei has spared no effort in promoting APEC Accelerator Network (AAN) and its four-year initiative on Business Continuity Planning (BCP).With the same dedication, APEC O2O Expert Network has been established in 2017 with the joint efforts of technology giants, such as Trend Micro and Belfor. In collaboration with information security professionals from APEC economies, the workshop will adopt APEC Guidebook on SME Digital Resilience as training materials to help SMEs improve their capabilities when encountering cyber security challenges.

In 2018, Chinese Taipei will host 9 serial events with 4 co-proposing economies: Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. These events will be held in five cities for the 3rd phase of APEC Online-to-Offline (O2O) Initiative – “Unleash the Potential of SMEs through Digital Transformation for a Shared Future.” Chinese Taipei will continued to play a leading role in exploring and addressing challenges and issues facing SMEs, deepening cooperation among ASEAN countries, and pushing the New Southbound Policy with a more effective approach.

Toward International Cooperation
Kaohsiung City Mayor Chu Chen expressed her appreciation to SMEs for hosting the APEC SME Digital Resilience Training Workshop and the Collaboration between Young Entrepreneurs of Kaohsiung & ASEAN in Kaohsiung. Seed trainers recommended by APEC member economies will strengthen APEC SMEs entrepreneurs’ knowledge in cyber security related field and enhance SME digital competitiveness and resilience. Furthermore, this event will also create a new paradigm for central and local governments to promote startup and international cooperation.