The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) formed a new chapter on cybersecurity to address the growing issue of online security threats and incidents.
PIKOM believes that greater awareness and stronger policies are needed as the present measures in place are insufficient. If left unchecked, the potential fallout would be huge, given the growing importance of the digital economy and its rising contributions to the overall ICT industry and Malaysian economy.
“With the vast growth of digital transformation, digital economy and e-commerce, cybersecurity must be regarded as a critical business factor,” said Chin Chee Seong, PIKOM chairman. “Cyber attacks are the new means used by criminals to cripple organisations and critical infrastructures and ‘attack’ countries.
“The devastating effects include financial loss, data loss and irreparable damage to reputation and credibility. Hence, PIKOM is taking this issue very seriously. We aim to heighten awareness and to work with all stakeholders towards the creation of a robust cybersecurity framework for Malaysia,” Chin said.
The Cybersecurity Chapter will be helmed by PIKOM councillor Alex Liew who also represents Glocomp. Former PIKOM chairman Woon Tai Hai will serve as adviser. The committee includes representatives from leading infosecurity names such as Cisco, Symantec, FireEye, Trend Micro, Dimension Data, Mesiniaga, F-secure and L GMS.
“Recent experiences show that no one can claim to be safe, as cybersecurity threats do not discriminate,” said Chin. “Any enterprise or entity can be a victim. Protection is the best means to achieve prevention. Identification and incident response is crucial.”
“Cyberthreats are not limited to ransomware,” said Alex Liew. “There are many other threats to different industries. Crucial infrastructure such as public transportation and utilities may be compromised. We aim to increase awareness of these threats and ways to combat them.”
Apart from raising awareness, the Chapter will also advise the government on policy formulation to combat cybercrime, by engaging Cybersecurity Malaysia and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) among others.
The Chapter also aims to address the lack of skilled workers in cybersecurity by engaging universities and colleges to nurture cybersecurity talent and promote career prospects in the industry. “A steady talent pipeline is required. Going forward, cybersecurity will provide potentially exciting and promising career opportunities. The supply of qualified talent is crucial to building the overall cybersecurity framework or infrastructure for the country,” said Chin.
According to Liew, the Chapter will be talking to universities and polytechnics about cybersecurity syllabus. It will also work with PIKOM Academy to upskill and reskill current ICT workers on this subject.
Additionally, the Chapter will be promoting knowledge sharing and propagation of best practices via engagement of CIOs across industry verticals.
“Our industry experience and expertise, drawn from over 1,000 member companies, gives us valuable insight to help companies especially in the strategic area of policy and decision-making,” Chin said.
The Cybersecurity Chapter will go on a membership drive to recruit more corporate and individual members as well as other PIKOM members to join its quest.