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Malaysia Working to Create Safer Cyberspace

Malaysia Cybersecurity

The government is in the midst of improving existing laws on data protection to counter the challenges and cyber threats faced today.

Referring to a recent hacking incident involving the University of Malaya’s (UM) e-pay portal, Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Minister stated that the improvements were also in line with the development of new technologies as part of efforts to maintain data security.

Malaysia has laws that have been in place since 2010, and the government believes the point has now come where improvement is necessary.

While the current law is enforceable, it is important to look at how amendments to strengthen and tighten existing laws to meet the challenges and threats faced today can be implemented.

The Amendment Bill was expected to be tabled during the next Parliament session between March and May 2020.

The minister is currently in the process of improving the existing provision to address cybersecurity and data security issues.

Meanwhile, on efforts to accelerate the digital economy, the minister said a partnership with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) through the eUsahawan programme and the Go-eCommerce platform have benefited 306,849 entrepreneurs.

The programme provides training opportunities and content for micro and youth entrepreneurs to gain knowledge in digital entrepreneurship including marketing through social media, e-marketplaces, data analysis, online payments, digital advertising and cybersecurity.

Out of the total, 107,558 entrepreneurs managed to generate additional sales online totalling RM586 million.

Referring to the proposal to set up the Digital Economy Special Council, the minister welcomed the proposal but said the ministry was currently focusing on the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor Implementation Council Meeting to discuss topics related to the digital economy.

In an earlier article, OpenGov Asia noted that 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 addition, 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 will emerge as the digital revolution unfolds. The World Economic Forum estimates 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.

A change in mentality within the community is also important. This will ensure that the digital transformation era is fully integrated, with the community practising lifelong learning to equip them with the skills they need.

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.

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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