Govt to create cyber security workforce

The workforce will be set up under the National Cyber Security Policy to ramp up protection in the face of heightened digital risks

By ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

FEDERAL efforts to combat cyber crimes will involve the establishment of a National Cyber Security Workforce to better utilise local talents in mitigating sophisticated threat campaigns.

The workforce will be set up under the National Cyber Security Policy, a five-year nationwide cyber attack response plan scheduled to be implemented this year, as Malaysia seeks to ramp up protection in the face of heightened digital risks.

Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (picture), who spoke on behalf of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at a conference in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, said a concerted effort is needed to address the country’s cyber security challenges.

“This strategy will be realised through the mobilisation of human resource and the development of infrastructure which will focus on the creation of the National Cyber Security Workforce to ensure optimal utilisation of existing resources and expertise,” Saifuddin Nasution said at the conference on Cybersecurity, Smart City and e-Government — Sharing the Russian Experience.

Malaysia has fallen prey to several cyber attacks in recent years, including the disruption of systems at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport last month. In 2017, authorities confirmed the data breach of 46.2 million records which include identification card numbers, addresses, and mobile numbers.

Last year, more than 16 million malware threats were reported in Malaysia, placing the country at the top of the list for such attacks in South-East Asia. This accounts for an average of 45,000 malware threats per day in the country.

According to a report by the world’s largest non-profit for cyber security professionals (ISC)² Inc, the shortage of cyber security professionals is close to three million globally. This has prompted some experts to describe the situation as the “largest human capital shortage in the world”.

Asia-Pacific has the largest talent shortfall with a gap of 2.15 million.

Saifuddin Nasution said Malaysia has already taken the first step in promoting cyber safety in schools with the introduction of the country’s first national cyber security school discourse in 2013.

“I am confident that with proper planning and strategies, the cyber security industry can grow and prosper in Malaysia, making cyber security one of the important economic verticals that can provide more opportunities for the prosperity of our country,” he said.

Earlier, Saifuddin Nasution witnessed the signing and exchange of five documents in the fields of cyber security, smart city, and e-government between local and Russian entities.

The documents involved a memorandum of agreement between green technology firm Itramas Corp Sdn Bhd and Russia’s Micran Research and Production Company JSC on a joint venture for the deployment and manufacturing of advanced gallium nitride power transistors, monolithic integrated circuits, surveillance radar, and radio frequency telecommunication equipment.

Other collaboration included the development of high-tech communication products such as fibre-optical sensors, smart city solutions involving the training of anti-hackers and the creation of cyber scam preventive applications and infrastructures.

The alliance with Russia will also focus on capacity building and training with the establishment of the Malaysia-Russia High Technology Centre to be based at DRB-Hicom University of Automotive Malaysia in Pekan, Pahang.

The centre will train specialists in cyber security, smart city solutions, and e-government.