Malaysia Series (I): Malaysia takes on cybersecurity

Posted on 5/05/2017 by Danica Pagsisihan


Millennials in Malaysia are now embracing flexible and remote work. Collaboration and mobility technologies increasing in demand and importance. This continual increase of cloud powered devices, opens up organisations and companies to Cybersecurity challenges as data and applications now hardly reside within the protected enterprise walls. When remote working is concerned, networks become more open and exposed to attacks.

The Malaysian government realises the importance of moving toward a digital government and Cybersecurity being a vital concern. The Government has therefore set up the ‘CyberSecurity Malaysia’ (CSM) organisation. This now functions as the National Cybersecurity Specialist Agency, under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). Through CSM, the Malaysian Government is able to provide specialised Cybersecurity services which would contribute greatly towards a bigger national objective. This aims to prevent and reduce disruptions in the form of attacks on critical information and data, thus protecting the Malaysian public, the Malaysian economy and Malaysian government services.

According to a recent interview with the CEO of CSM, Malaysia has experienced over 10 000 cyber incidents in 2015 alone and expects commercial fraud, ransomware and online scams to increase. Highlighting that the Internet of Things (IoT) has also posed a security challenge to enterprises, he adds that the disruption to Malaysia’s Critical National Information Infrastructure, rising costs to businesses from Cyber Crime and theft of financial data will only drive investment away from the country. Cyberspace protection then becomes imperative for Malaysia.

The CEO further envisions CSM to become a globally recognised National Cybersecurity reference and specialist centre by 2020. With that in mind, as well as the aim to safeguard the nation’s cyber space from cyber threats in mind, the Government through CSM has implemented several steps and policies, one of which is the National Cyber Security Policy (NCSP). The NCSP initiative comes under the National Security Council, and focuses on the development, usage and production of local technologies to reduce dependence on foreign technologies. ​

In addition to all the policies being implemented, there was also the importance of improving the general public’s awareness of Cybersecurity and best practices. Under his guidance, CSM has rolled out a dedicated program known as Cyber Security Awareness for Everyone (CyberSAFE), which aims at increasing awareness and nurturing best practices on safe and positive ICT usage amongst internet users. 

To conclude, Cybersecurity is a priority, not only for Malaysia as a country but for organisations worldwide as well. One of the CSM's CEO concluding statements in his recent interview was that of Future Malaysia focusing primarily on establishing regional cooperation and cross border collaboration with regional Cybersecurity agencies and bring in best practices.  I add that on top of this, that organisations not only need to have an intelligent, integrated security infrastructure in place but also a workforce that has a high level of Cybersecurity awareness, to effectively defend against cyberattacks and prevent data leakage, which then leads to helping the nation as a whole.

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Let me know! Share your thoughts around Malaysia and Cybersecurity with us, and if you are keen to find out more about the job market and/or job opportunities in Security, feel free to talk to me on the below details.

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