Expert Opinion


CyberSecurity Malaysia’s Astounding Achievements

CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) has had a splendid fiscal year, winning many different awards including OpenGov’s Recognition of Excellence award. They have taken numerous initiatives in ensuring a safe cyberspace. We spoke to Dato’ Dr Amirudin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CSM to gain insight into how they have gained their traction in the tech-industry in Malaysia.

The 2018 cybersecurity index by ITU has named Malaysia the third most cyber secure Nation in the world. CSM had a big role to play to play in achieving this. They have rolled out many initiatives in the past year to ensure that Malaysia’s networks are safeguarded.

Dr Amirudin highlighted that while cyber security tools can always be upgraded to keep up with the changing technical landscapes, they are not sufficient in protecting entire companies and networks from cyber security threats.

Cyber criminals these days are becoming even more devious and undetectable. They wreak havoc with catastrophic consequences for businesses. A large-sized organization in Malaysia can possibly incur an economic loss of US$22.8 million from cyberattacks. This amount is set to increase exponentially as technology continues to advance.

The best way to keep pace with the security threats from the rapid advancements of technology is to deploy modern adaptive cybersecurity solutions that are able to utilise predictive detection techniques.

Dr Amirudin highlighted that while technical cybersecurity tools can provide temporary protection from immediate and potent attacks, they are not a sustainable means of protecting entire networks from the perennially evolving cybersecurity threats. Organisations need to be fortified from within. To do this, they have to ensure that three main elements are impregnable. These three elements are: People, Processes and Technology.

The weakest link in the security chain is still the “people”. Insider threats accounts for nearly 84% of cybersecurity breaches in organisations. Studies have shown that people underestimate the rate at which technology evolves, causing them to have the false belief that they are already resilient to cyberattacks. 

This is one of the reasons why Cyber Security Malaysia came up with the CyberSAFE programme. This is an awareness, programme aiming to raise awareness about the technical issues that internet users face. The programme aims to reach out to people of all walks of life including, school children, adults, working adults and even teachers.

The programme has had a stellar success rate especially when it comes to reaching out to children as they are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks. Courses have been conducted to educate both children as well as their school teachers to ensure that they are not only aware but have knowledge on how to react when faced with a cyberattack. Over 230 100 students have attended the CyberSAFE programme.

Despite their incredible penetration rate, CSM is continuing to look for ways to make the programme more holistic. The programme is conducted in many different ways and through many different platforms to capture interest and make it more attractive.

Since the CyberSAFE programme is a preventive measure aimed at protecting digital citizens from cyberattacks, it has to be interesting and engaging so that people retain the message of what has been taught. CSM is therefore working on ways that they can achieve this retention rate.

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