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CYDES 2021: Another Milestone for Malaysia

by ESPC Reporters

Notching another first for Malaysia is the inaugural Cyber Defence & Security Exhibition and Conference that commences from today till 30th June 2021. Touted as the world’s first integrated cyber defence, cyber security, and emerging technology event for the global community, CYDES 2021 aims to showcase some of the most cutting-edge cyber security and defence expertise, solutions, and technologies to combat cyber threats.

While officiating the virtual launch of CYDES, s the Prime Minister of Malaysia Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his opening speech, said that addressing cyber threats and meeting the needs of governments, the military, law enforcement, and national critical infrastructure agencies in protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure networks is pivotal in the current landscape.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, today, we are living in a vastly different world, where embracing digital technology has become a new norm,” said the Prime Minister in his speech.

He further added that with our dependency on technology to see us through the pandemic, it has also opened up the floodgates of threats, risks and vulnerabilities. Irresponsible cyber criminals are exploiting the situation to carry out their malicious intents. Revealing some staggering and worrying numbers, Muhyiddin said that in 2019, the number of cyber incidences reported stood at 3,787 but by 2020, the incidences spiralled to a worrying 10 percent to 4,194.

Now with more Malaysians across all walks of life acquainting themselves with digitalisation, this year, the number is expected to surge further as can be seen in the first quarter of this year alone where 1,300 cyber incidences have been reported.

“Cyber crimes have also shown an upward trend. According to the Royal Malaysian Police statistics, in 2019, the number of cyber crimes reported was 11,875 cases, with RM498 million in terms of losses. Last year, the number of cases increased to 14,229, with total losses of RM413 million. In the first quarter of this year, the number of cases reported was 4,327 and the losses involved were RM 77 million,” he added.

In his speech, Muhyiddin also emphasised that cyberattacks and cybercrimes have become an issue that no country can solve on its own as cyber threats know no borders. “Cyber security should become the priority of every nation, especially on matters underlying economic and national security.”

Attackers have become more sophisticated and complicated than ever, and we cannot escape anymore from emphasising on the elements of cyber security in every initiative.

As such, on 12 Oct 2020, the Government of Malaysia launched the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy (MCSS) 2020-2024 with an allocation of RM1.8 billion to step up national cyber security preparedness.

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) and the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) would be tasked with formulating, implementing, monitoring and coordinating the medium-term action plan.

“All the action plans under the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy 2020 – 2024 (MCSS 2020 – 2024) will be aligned with the MyDigital initiatives as key elements to achieve the vision of building a secured, trusted and resilient cyber space.

Through MCSS, the government will fortify local capabilities to predict, detect, deter and respond to cyber threats by strengthening our cybersecurity governance, nurturing competent people, supporting best practice processes and deploying effective technologies,” he enthused.

MCSS is based on five pillars comprising 12 objectives, 35 actions plans and 113 programmes as the thrust of the cyber security approach required to combat today’s cyber-attacks.

CYDES that involves 30 nations with a total of 2,500 participants is co-organised and co-hosted by Malaysian National Security Council (MKN) and National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) while various strategic partners such as Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence, MCMC, TM ONE, and MDEC amongst others.

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