Building mutual trust to enhance Malaysia’s digital economy

This will enable the country to move forward in building a better and more sustainable progressive world 

by AUFA MARDHIAH / graphic by TMR

KSI STRATEGIC Institute for Asia Pacific has called on the ICT industry to invest more resources in creating comprehensive security and quality systems for communications networks and reliable standards against which to assess them. 

The research institute believes the ICT industry should develop globally accepted, industry-led, security standards along with best practices, security assurance solutions and compliance assessment systems. 

“This will help establish a fair and consistent environment where all parties can respond to the challenges of cyber security together,” KSI president Tan Sri Michael Yeoh said in a webinar yesterday. 

Yeoh added that it is crucial to enhance cybersecurity and trust in the digital economy. 

“The digital economy is rapidly growing with digital transformation taking place in many key economic sectors. We not only see the transformation in business but also in education, healthcare and many other spheres of human life. 

“In the last two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen many cyber security threats being perpetuated to the public and this should be a critical need to enhance cyber security. To be able to build mutual trust is key in getting us forward to build a better and more sustainable progressive world,” he said. 

The webinar brought together experts from multi-sectors to discuss how governments and organisations can enhance public trust through security transformation, along with the solutions and resources to help set the foundation for a truly secure digital future. 

The event highlighted the role of cyber security in creating a digital economy, how companies and government can prepare for 

what is to come, how mutual trust can be built, opportunity and impact of innovative technologies on the economy as well as public-private partnerships on building a vibrant and trusted digital economy. 

“The crucial questions are who to trust and whom to trust, trust must be built link-by-link and the importance of governance integrity and innovation in building trust,” Cyber-Security Malaysia head of industry and business development Mohamed Anwer Mohamed Yusoff said. 

He added that Malaysia should be included as one of the members for the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace. 

Paris Call is an organisation that comes together to face the new threats endangering citizens and infrastructure and is based around nine common principles to secure cyberspace. 

Telekom Research and Development Sdn Bhd CEO Dr Sharlene Thiagarajah said technology, business models, mindset and ecology will shape a new value-based digital economy that is robust and inclusive. 

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (carrier network business group) chief tech officer Paul Michael Scanlan said trust can be built through education and collaboration. 

He added that in the last two to three years, three issues have dominated discussions — cyber security, health and climate action. Countries with mutual trust agreements have their economies grow during the pandemic. 

“If you want to grow the economy and transform industry, you need education, collaboration and building mutual trust. There’s a lot of misinformation around and we lack consistent information that would allow people to make the right decisions. Once we have that we need collaborations across a multitude of players,” he said. 

In a digital and smart world enabled by 5G, cloud and artificial intelligence, a secure and reliable cyberspace is essential to the nation’s economy and people’s livelihoods. Correspondingly, it is important to increase cyber resilience and it needs to be proactive, he added.