Pacific Forum and DFAT’s Cyber ASEAN convene multistakeholder cyber consultation in Indonesia

Pacific Forum and the Department of Foreign and Trade (DFAT) conducted Cyber ASEAN’s Indonesia consultation last August 21, 2023. Ambassador of the Australian Mission to ASEAN Will Nankervis gave the opening remarks, emphasizing Australia’s steadfast commitment to raising cyber resiliency and capacity in Southeast Asia through DFAT’s Cybersecurity and Critical Technologies Cooperation Program. Adi Dzulfuat, Director for Pacific, and Oceania Affairs from Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs joined Ambassador Nankervis during the opening ceremony. Mr. Dzulfuat recognized DFAT’s longstanding contribution to enhancing Indonesia and ASEAN’s cybersecurity to achieve a more resilient digital economy.

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Pacific Forum’s Director of Cybersecurity and Critical Technologies Mr. Mark Bryan Manantan and Cyber ASEAN Indonesia expert, Fitriani led the four plenary sessions to discuss international collaboration, international technical standards, information-sharing and incident response, and inclusion. 

Speakers and participants included representatives from Indonesia’s cybersecurity community led by the National Cyber and Crypto Agency Indonesia, International Telecommunications Union, Indonesia Cyber Security Forum, Laboratorium Indonesia, Kredivo Group, Telkom Indonesia, Jakarta Smart City, Microsoft Indonesia, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Monash University, Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network, and Konekin.

Throughout the workshop, speakers highlighted Indonesia’s role as the current chair of ASEAN 2023. Building on its presidency during the G20 Summit in 2022, participants emphasized Indonesia’s opportunity to further leverage its position in advocating for digital connectivity while adapting to the evolving cybersecurity challenges stemming from the geopolitical tensions in the region. 

Meeting participants

Using the initial pillars of the Cyber ASEAN framework, several observations from the workshop emerged. On international technical standards, most Indonesian participants argued that people, processes, and technology should go hand in hand. This means that training people and optimizing processes are determinants of the successful implementation of technology-related policies. This observation is crucial in Indonesia’s context given the increasing use of machine learning and postquantum cryptography to bolster cybersecurity efforts.

Public-private partnerships on information-sharing are key to identifying potential threats and activating remediation efforts. However, to improve current arrangements and practices in Indonesia, some participants suggested that information-sharing initiatives among the public and private sectors should be based on clear parameters to build a collaborative and sustainable data or information-sharing ecosystem.  

Indonesia must also pursue a pragmatic approach that prioritizes impact rather than reaching an ideal state of cybersecurity. Several experts noted that the government’s current top-down policies must be complemented by bottom-up approaches to achieve tangible outcomes. Highlighting successful case studies and success stories enabled by local partnerships can be a starting point to rally greater public and private sector support for cyber policies. 


On inclusion, the meaningful and productive participation of women, children, and minority groups should not be an afterthought but should be mainstreamed throughout cyber policymaking. A major highlight of the Indonesian consultation was the cybersecurity challenges faced by the disabled community. Accessibility by design, should be the guiding principle in designing and producing software and hardware. Moreover, espousing a universal accessibility mindset will not only benefit the disabled community but also the entire society.

In addition to issues of equity and accessibility, the Indonesia consultation also tackled the importance of human-centric cybersecurity. Such a view recognizes the human element of cybersecurity, encompassing open internet access, online expression, and protection of privacy and digital rights amid looming concerns about digital authoritarianism in the country.

Held with support from DFAT’s Cyber and Critical Technology Cooperation Partnership, Cyber ASEAN is a capacity-building and development initiative that aims to advance Southeast Asia’s proactive role in strengthening its overall cybersecurity and resiliency posture. Learn more about Cyber ASEAN and key updates of the project through: