Acting On The Looming Cyber Threat

Cyber-attacks have become a common occurrence not just in Malaysia but around the globe, especially when the cyber space is growing and changing at such a dynamic pace. The World Economic Forum 2019 global risk report has named cyber-attacks and data breaches as the fourth and fifth most serious risks facing the world today.

Malaysia is one of the top three ASEAN countries expected to contribute 75 per cent of cybersecurity services market share by 2025. It can exchange information and best practice from how the UK is making significant inroads when it comes to finding an answer to digital threats.

Pledging GBP1.9 billion to tackle this danger, the UK introduced a comprehensive National Cyber Security Strategy and created a National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Based in London the NCSC handled more than 10 attacks per week during its first two years of operations. With a proactive approach to securing the UK’s online defences, the NCSC launched the Active Cyber Defence (ACD) initiative – a project that has reduced the UK’s share of visible global phishing attacks by more than half.

Natalie Black is the UK’s first Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, leading the Department for International Trade (DIT) across the region. She was also the Deputy Director and then Director of the Office of Cyber Security in the Cabinet Office where she oversaw the National Cyber Security Strategy and the GBP860mn National Cyber Security Programme.

She added, “Cyber threats have become global in their impact and the challenge they pose to the economies and businesses at large. Knowledge exchange and best practice sharing between the two nations would be the best way to learn from each other. As we continue to foster collaboration with Malaysia in cyber security for intelligence and information sharing, a strong focus is also developing talent, training and capacity building in this field. This will ensure both sides are better prepared to manage future cyber threats.”

On the cyber talent front, Malaysia and UK jointly launched a CyberSecurity Talent Zone to cater for the industry’s pressing need for technically competent professionals. The initiative was a joint effort between Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) as the main academic partner and host, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) being the primary driver and PGI UK, which delivered the course content accredited by UK GCHQ. The programme was delivered at APU’s CyberSecurity Talent Zone comprising a state-of-the-art Cyber Range and Security Operations Centre.

This collaboration – which has already successfully produced an impressive number of certified SOC specialists – is aimed at driving upskilling to address a rapidly growing need for specialists in Cybersecurity in Malaysia and the region.

UK businesses have over 58,000 people work in cyber security-related roles – a jump of 168 percent in the last five years. The region is becoming a hot bed of talent, supported by the UK’s universities, of which 14 now have academic centres of excellence in cyber security R&D.


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