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Malaysia’s cybersecurity sector must be strengthened

Malaysia’s cybersecurity needs to be constantly refined and strengthened, in line with the advent of the ever-changing and complex digital age.

As such, more attention should be paid to the development of the field through more funds allocated in the 2020 Budget which will be tabled soon.

The CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia, Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab, stated that the government should provide appropriate funding to encourage the development of a broader sector including protection technology, system governance and human-development capabilities.

The technological advancement of technology and the capabilities of its protection system must move in tandem to counteract the attacks and threats to the technology.

The risk is very high if the focus is only on the development of digital technology without increasing the protection of the technology itself.

In the context of the digital world, one must always be prepared for the ever-increasing cyber-threat, hopefully, this budget, focus can be given to the cybersecurity industry.

Many of the initiatives and policies introduced by the government are now based on digitisation including an online management system that requires multi-layered protection features.

Through the funds provided, various efforts to develop the sector could be implemented including research and development (R&D) activities and the provision of more sophisticated cyber protection systems.

In last year’s Budget, the digital field was one of the largest fund-receiving sectors through the implementation of the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP) with an allocation of RM1 billion to promote the digital economy.

Through the budget, the government also allocated RM10 million to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to develop and promote the E-Sports industry.

Meanwhile, in order to meet the country’s needs in the face of the challenges of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, the 2020 Budget also needs to focus on enhancing digital technology skills.

The MDEC Vice President for Talent Development and Digital Entrepreneurship stated that large funds needed to be allocated to enhance existing skills in line with the needs of the technology world.

More new job opportunities would emerge as the digital revolution unfolded, and cited the World Economic Forum’s estimate that 65% of the workforce will work in the yet to be created job sector because it requires digital skills.

It is hoped that the government will allocate more or at least give more focus on improving the skills of the existing workforce so that they are always relevant.

In addition to raising funds, changing the mentality of the community was also important to ensure that the digital transformation era was fully integrated, with the community practising lifelong learning to equip them with the skills they had in mind.

While it is usually satisfactory to simply graduate and get a job, it is important to remember that the demands and skills in the job are constantly changing and skill improvement is always needed.

Although the government gives out incentives, nobody might want to do it, another method must be created to develop a lifelong learning mentality.

In October 2018, OpenGov Aisa reported that the Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) unveiled Malaysia’s first Cyber Security Talent Zone located within at its campus in Technology Park Malaysia.0

The Talent Zone was set up to address the industry’s pressing need for technically competent CyberSecurity professionals. APU partnered with MDEC and industry partners in this truly international initiative, which includes infrastructure and services from at least three countries.

A year on, it is still clear that it is more critical than ever before to fortify and strengthen Malaysia’s cybersecurity ecosystem with strategic initiatives, especially through public-private sector collaborations.

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