More efforts are needed to strengthen the classification of data and establish a digital information security protection system, as data are now widely seen as the fifth most important element in an economy after land, labor, capital and technology, experts said.
The comments came after the market size of China's cybersecurity industry exceeded 200 billion yuan ($29.56 billion) last year, and a new report showed that small and medium-sized enterprises are facing increasing data security risks amid accelerated digital transformation.
Sui Jing, head of the cybersecurity administration of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said more efforts will be made to strengthen the top-level design of data security and improve supportive policies and standards systems.
"We will speed up the drafting of fundamental rules such as data classification and protect them accordingly, as well as enhance the supervision of cross-border data flows," Sui said at a cybersecurity discussion during the 2022 Global Digital Economy Conference in Beijing, which wrapped up on Saturday.
Wu Hequan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said as digital technologies get increasingly intertwined with both society and economy, there is an urgent need to promote a new round of transformation and upgrading of the digital security industry.
"Digital security is no longer a purely technical issue, but a systematic project involving businesses, corporate management, processes, teams and other aspects," Wu said at the 10th Internet Security Conference.
His views were echoed by Zhou Hongyi, founder and chairman of cybersecurity company 360 Security Group. "Data security companies should shift from being product-centric to service-centric," Zhou said.
Zhou said it is of great importance to build security systems that can help clients "see" data security risks and focus on offering services to them.
As digital transformation accelerates, Chinese SMEs are facing increasing data security risks, according to a report jointly released by 360 Dipper Research, the company's think tank, and organizations including the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.
More than 85 percent of small, medium and micro-sized enterprises surveyed for the report said they have encountered digital security problems and suffered more cyberattacks than before. And about 77 percent of them said they themselves cannot effectively deal with digital security risks.
SMEs have specific security needs in terms of digital business scenarios, budgets, security capabilities, emergency responses and other aspects. As a result, security products and services that used to be applicable to large enterprises cannot be directly offered to them, experts added.
Amid such a context, Zhou said that for SMEs lacking sufficient funding, talent or relevant technologies in the process of digital transformation, the company hopes to offer affordable solutions to help them solve data security problems.
"For big enterprises that have their own data security teams, we should provide data to empower them to better see risks," Zhou added.
He said that in the past 20 years, the company has invested 20 billion yuan in cybersecurity, and gathered 2,000 data security experts and a large quantity of security data, which can help it better offer business-oriented cybersecurity services.