Oct. 9, 2017
Led by the National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM), industry players have ramped up security initiatives with encouragement from the government's digital security speciality CyberSecurity Malaysia.
Earlier this year, CyberSecurity Malaysia's chief executive officer Dato' Dr Haji Amirudin Bin Abdul Wahab (pic below), during his opening keynote at Computerworld Security Summit in Kuala Lumpur, painted a grim threat landscape for 2017. (See - Combatting cyberattacks with a strategic mind set: Computerworld Malaysia 11th Security Summit)
Dr Amirudin said country is attracting more attention from cyber criminals concurrent with its growing digital infrastructure and increasing economic activities. Specific attack groups include fraud, cyber harassment and denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, said Dr Amirudin when revealing details from the agency's recent report.
"About 88 percent of today's malware is now able to morph to avoid detection by signature-based antivirus solutions," he had added, citing a recent Trend Micro statistic. "A strong strategy is required to counter new threat tactics in the current operating environment." (See - Warning: Digital Malaysia growth is attracting more cyberattacks)
Continuing the cybersecurity narrative in Malaysia, PIKOM chairman Chin Chee Seong (pic below) recently held a briefing to unveil a new strategy, which includes cooperation from Cisco, Trend Micro, Symantec, Glocomp Systems, Dimension Data, FireEye, F-Secure and LGMS.
"With the vast growth of digital transformation, digital economy and eCommerce, cybersecurity must be regarded as a critical business factor," Chin said. "Cyberattacks are the new means used by criminals to cripple organisations and critical infrastructures as well as 'attack' countries."
A new Cybersecurity Chapter has been formed within PIKOM to raise awareness across public and private sectors in the country, he said.
The chapter will also advise government on policy formulation to combat cybercrime, Chin added.
He further explained that this move is a "direct response towards addressing the growing issue of online security threats and other incidents that have steadily increased in the past decade."
Business leaders and senior management have become increasingly aware of the damage from digital security breaches. Chin said, "The devastating effects included financial loss, data loss and irreparable damage to reputation and credibility. Hence, PIKOM is taking this issue very seriously. We aim to heighten awareness and to work with all stakeholders towards the creation of a robust cybersecurity framework for Malaysia."
Speaking of policies, he said that with the reality of more frequent and damaging cyberattacks, malware incidences and the recent ransomware experience, PIKOM believed that "greater awareness and stronger policies are needed as the present measures are insufficient. If left unchecked, the potential fallout would be huge, given the growing role of the digital economy and its rising contributions to the overall ICT industry and the Malaysian economy."
How the Chapter will work
Chin confirmed that PIKOM's Cybersecurity Chapter will be led by Alex Liew, a PIKOM councillor representing Glocomp while former PIKOM Chairman, Woon Tai Hai of BDO has been appointed as advisor. Members of the committee include infosecurity firms such as Cisco, Symantec, FireEye, Trend Micro, Dimension Data, Mesiniaga, F-Secure and LGMS.
In addition to helping raise security awareness and advise government on policies, the Chapter will help to tackle the challenge of nurturing of infosecurity talent, and promote knowledge sharing and propagation of best practices via CIO engagement across industry verticals.
"Recent experiences show that no one can claim to be safe as cybersecurity threats do not discriminate," continued Chin. "Any enterprise or entity can be a victim; hence protection is the best means to achieve prevention. Identification and incident response is crucial. Our industry experience and expertise - drawn from more than 1,000 member companies gives us valuable insight to help companies especially in the strategic area of policy and decision making."
He reaffirmed the need for a steady talent pipeline. "This is crucial to building the overall cybersecurity framework or infrastructure for the country."
The new Chapter will be governed in line with the PIKOM Constitution with members deciding on strategies and programmes whilst PIKOM will serve as its Secretariat. This is PIKOM's second new chapter for 2017 after the formation of its eCommerce Chapter in January 2017. (See - eCommerce Tracker: How PIKOM's new Asean alliance will tap Malaysia's 'incredible growth')