Efforts to increase cybercrime, cybersecurity awareness intensify

National Cyber Security Awareness Module aims to foster a culture of prudent and ethical use of the Internet and technology among future digital citizens


THE Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (MCMC) has launched the National Cyber Security Awareness Module and Cyber Security Enhancement Project for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to educate the public about cyber threats and how they can protect themselves.

The former, which is being introduced to primary and secondary schools, was jointly developed by CyberSecurity Malaysia and the Educational Resources and Technology Division of the Ministry of Education Malaysia to foster a culture of prudent and ethical use of the Internet and technology among future digital citizens through the teaching and learning initiative, best practises and preventive measures are disseminated to avoid schoolchildren and teachers becoming victims of cyberattacks.

These modules cater to primary and secondary school students, covering key cyber security principles and topics like online ethics and digital citizenship.

Whereas the latter, the Cyber Security Enhancement Programme for SMEs, is a targeted assistance programme designed to complement the needs of SMEs in facing cyber security challenges through a comprehensive cyber security health check. It is aimed to provide cyber security health checks on SMEs across various industries that rely heavily on ICT technologies.

The health check encompasses information security governance risk and compliance assessment, malware scanning, vulnerability assessment, CISAM training and certification.

The ministry’s secretary general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek (picture) said as 5G networks become ubiquitous, the need for cyber security will only increase.

“While 5G technology brings faster connectivity and greater bandwidth, the expanding ecosystem will be exposed to cyberattacks, making the 5G network more susceptible to the cyber security risks stemming from malicious software and hardware, counterfeit components, and also risks from legacy vulnerabilities since 5G networks are built upon previous generation networks,” he said.

He unveiled the two programmes at the launch of the Cyber Security Malaysia Awards, Conference and Exhibition 2021, which showcases the latest developments in cyber security, innovation and solutions.

He also revealed the 5G Cyber Security Test Lab, or in short, the My5G setup, a collaboration between Huawei Technologies Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Celcom Axiata Bhd and CyberSecurity Malaysia to test and evaluate the readiness of 5G networks to combat cyberattacks.

It is the first-of-its-kind in SouthEast Asia and aims to strengthen Malaysia’s cyber security capability in preparation for the imminent 5G rollout.

In this tripartite collaboration, Huawei Technologies will supply 5G equipment and 5G connectivity to enable 5G Test Bed Development, comprising 5G RAN, Edge and Core Network, while Celcom Axiata will provide 4G connectivity and coverage.

Meanwhile, CyberSecurity Malaysia will contribute human resources such as competent security testers and auditors for 5G security assessment, to obtain approval on 5G spectrum and 5G equipment trial usage from the regulatory body before operating the test lab, to establish an accredited test lab from the National Standards and Accreditation Body, to obtain accreditation as a 5G security test lab from the Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme, and to evaluate and certify 5G devices and 5G infrastructure services.

It will be executed through a three-year development plan and sited at CyberSecurity Malaysia’s building in Menara Cyber Axis, Cyberjaya.

My5G will become a specialist security evaluation and test laboratory for 5G devices and ecosystems, producing test methodologies, test tools, toolkits and test services focusing on security functional testing and penetration testing on 5G ecosystems.

“MCMC is proud that CyberSecurity Malaysia has taken its key role as the ‘leading regional cyber security specialist agency’ to greater heights through research, analytics, development and security evaluation of 5G cyber security equipment and solutions. I am confident that this 5G Cyber Security Test Lab will become an internationally recognised reference centre for 5G security,” he said.

Mohammad concluded that the current Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate our priorities and focus on the importance of digital transformation.

“As Malaysia transitions to living with the endemic Covid-19, we must be prepared to fully embrace new digital technologies. The move towards 5G creates many opportunities and, eventually, challenges for Malaysia.

With the right cyber security framework and technology, the government and businesses are ready to meet these challenges, guided by the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy 2020-2024,” he said.