Honeywell to help with cyber security

The MNC will discuss with MDEC, MITI on sending talent pools for hands-on training


American multinational conglomerate Honeywell International Inc aims to collaborate with the Malaysian government to expand Malaysia’s cyber security talent pool.

Honeywell’s South-East Asia president Briand Greer (picture) said after the establishment of its first Asean regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur (KL) last year, Honeywell has expressed its interest to provide its services to elevate Malaysia’s cyber security ecosystem.

“I will return to Malaysia soon to discuss with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), so they can consider sending their talent pools for a more hands-on training.

“This can be among one of the government’s initiatives to tackle the cyber security talent crunch,” Greer told The Malaysian Reserve.

“The demand for well-trained cyber security talents is growing exponentially, as some regulations make cyber security mandatory for certain industries, therefore our new Centre of Excellence (CoE) will be ideal for Malaysia to consider,” he said.

The New Jersey-based Honeywell launched its Asian’s first industrial cyber security centre in Singapore yesterday.

Developed with the support of Singapore Economic Development board, the centre is designed to help defend the region’s industrial manufacturers against evolving cyber security threats.

The cyber security centre will be used to conduct proprietary research, develop new security technologies, provide hands-on training and certifications, and test and validate actual solutions deployed at customer sites.

On the decision to have the centre in Singapore, Greer said the plan has been around for five years with investments being made over the time.

“However, this very centre will be able to accommodate our 37,000 clients across the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Established nearly six months after launching its Asean regional headquarters in KL, Greer said the Malaysian government and companies could send their cyber professionals to its new CoE for training and certification purposes.

“Cyber security is vital not just for the technology industry, but also our industrial sector and critical infrastructure, which are being increasingly digitised.

“This centre will be able to help companies across sectors realise the full potential of digital transformation, and will help grow a pool of local specialists in this emerging field,” he added.

The new cyber security centre located in Singapore’s Changi Business Park is the third Honeywell facility in the world.

Earlier this year, the company opened a new centre in Dubai that serves customers in the Middle East and Europe. Honeywell’s original cyber security centre is located in Atlanta, Georgia, US.

On its operation in Malaysia, Greer said the setting-up of a headquarters in KL has improved its business tremendously, as it serves as a centralised hub.

“It has been great because prior to this, we had four separate offices and they were pretty old. However, with the headquarters in KL, everything seems more centralised and better.

“The reason why we chose Malaysia to establish our Asean regional hub is because this country has been a great partner, thus resulted in bringing us to locate the headquarters here,” Greer explained.

Honeywell is the first multinational company (MNC) to have joined Malaysia’s new principal hub initiative.

It has invested more than US$500 million (RM1.96 billion) and created more than 120 high-value jobs, with mostly local talents.

Honeywell currently has 1,500 workforce in Malaysia, with offices in KL, Johor Baru and Penang.

The company has more than 4,000 employees across the region, including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines.

“Asean contributes US$800 million to Honeywell’s global revenue last year and Malaysia’s revenue is 25% out of the total,” he said.

Greer also said the regional headquarters in KL will help stimulate the company’s businesses with on-the-ground leadership.

Areas of particular interest for Honeywell in Malaysia include aerospace, oil and gas, automation and process controls, home and building solutions, industrial safety, mobile business productivity and automated warehouse operations.

“As we evolve into a software-industrial MNC, with a local mindset focused on Industry 4.0-connected technologies across our vast portfolio, we will continue to place greater emphasis on resources and investment here and across Asean,” he said.