HUAWEI will be joining the Malaysian government on a joint steering committee that has been entrusted with a task of combating cyberthreats that the country has experienced in the last year.
Fresh off one of the biggest data breaches in the country, wherein more 46 million mobile phone and personal details, as well as thousands of medical records were stolen and put up for auction on Internet forums, the government is establishing a collaboration with one of China’s biggest smartphone manufacturers in order to set cybersecurity standards and strategies.
The taskforce, as reported by ComputerWeekly.com, will meet twice a year and will be comprised of representatives from both the government and Huawei who will execute all decisions that have been made by the joint committee.
Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi said as the country began shifting to industries rooted in the digital economy, there needed to be a commensurate effort to boost cybersecurity infrastructure in the country, according to ComputerWeekly. He was speaking at a Huawei event in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
Malaysia’s cyber watchdog Cybersecurity Malaysia CEO Amirudin Abdul Wahab commented that public officials need to work hand in hand with private industry players in order to take advantage of their experience, thereby building much more robust systems.
“Our partnership with Huawei is aligned to our cybersecurity efforts with the nation’s digital agenda, and will strengthen our capabilities in reinforcing the nation’s cyber defences to protect against escalating cyber threats,” he said according to ComputerWeekly.
“In order to thrive in a digital economy, cybersecurity needs to be at the core of our digital transformation strategy.”
As the second largest smartphone brand in the market, Huawei would bring to the table lots of expertise in dealing with building in security features into not just hardware but software as well. Coordinating security protocols across not just hardware products but in network infrastructures such as government websites and databases, telco systems and operating software is crucial.
Malaysia’s tie-up with Huawei will further enhance the country’s standing with regards to its commitment to cybersecurity. According to the Global Cybersecurity Index by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Malaysia ranked third in the world for its commitment, just behind Singapore and the United States.
“As the global community rapidly embraces ICT as key enabler for social and economic development, it is vital that cybersecurity is made an integral and indivisible part of the digital transformation,” said Brahima Sanou, the director of ITU’s telecommunication development bureau.
“We continue to encourage governments to consider national policies that take into account cybersecurity so that everyone can reap the benefits of the online world.”