Govt extends collaboration with BSA to prevent cyberattacks


THE Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has extended its collaboration with The Software Alliance (BSA) for the second phase of their “Legalise & Protect” campaign targeting 5,000 engineering and design companies in the country.

The collaboration aims to encourage companies to use licensed software to protect themselves against cyberattacks.

Ministry secretary general Datuk Seri Hasnol Zam Zam Ahmad stated that the use of third-party software has been identified as one of the biggest cybersecurity threats and it is estimated that 37% of software installed on personal computers is still unlicensed.

He added that the government encourages the business sector and all government agencies to use only licensed software which is a key measure to strengthen domestic trade through digitalisation and value creation.

“It’s imperative that companies make their remote working practices resilient to cyberattacks by providing a ‘cyber-safe’ remote-working environment.

“One of the most fundamental ways to do this is the use of licensed software.

“It is our goal to raise cybersecurity awareness among companies in Malaysia and not to underestimate the seriousness of cyberattacks,” he said.

Hasnol added that the parties have done a similar campaign last year helped raise the level of awareness on the issue and educated some 10,000 small and medium enterprises on the legal, productivity and security benefits of using licensed software.

“The collaboration was successful in raising awareness and highlighted the message that investing in licensed software is good for an organisation’s security, corporate reputation, productivity and bottom line,” Hasnol added.

Tarun Sawney, BSA director, said the unlicensed software problem is widespread in the region with an estimated 100,000 companies using such software.

He said the campaign is designed to inform business leaders about the risks of using unlicensed software and the benefits of using legal design software.

“The challenge is that not enough business leaders are willing to make the necessary investment.

“It is a tremendous sign of strength to have the next generation of infrastructure projects in South-East Asia built with software that is fully enabled, highly productive, secure and licensed,” he said.

Sawney said the campaign is a continuation of BSA’s successful regional “Legalise and Protect” initiative launched in 2019 which has helped businesses across South-East Asia to instal licensed, cyber secure software on nearly one million PCs.

“The campaign is to commit firms to using only licensed software in the development of roads, bridges, ports and communications infrastructure planned for the years ahead as governments seek strategies to boost national competitiveness.

“We want to help the Asean region’s leading design and engineering firms to make the transition away from the risks of unlicensed software to fully licensed software that can actually unlock potential of the region’s leading designers,” said Sawney.