Cyber-Attacks Can Slow Down Innovation in Malaysia – Report

Cyber-attacks in Malaysia have grown into a serious threat, causing nearly US$ 900 million in costs and lost revenue annually. With the security concerns in the region, officials say Malaysian firms and organizations need to be more aware of the risks, and become proactive in fighting cyber-crimes.

Cybersecurity is important for technology and innovation in Malaysia. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

In the Second Annual Information Security Summit, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister YB Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Maximus Johnity Ongkili shared that 2011 saw a total of 15,218 attacks last year, which has grown sevenfold from 2008. Figures are based on incidents reported to CyberSecurity Malaysia.

What gives government officials concern is the fact that Malaysian entities are less concerned with information security, which may lead to serious threats to the country’s socio-economic situation and weaken its reputation in the business community.

The major highlight is the need for government and public sector organizations to secure their infrastructure and facilities. Only 15% of the 400 state-owned enterprises identified as critical national infrastructure have obtained ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) certification.

Additionally, the international standard specifies organizations to implement, monitor, review, maintain and improve documented ISMS to mitigate their overall business risks. These will ensure that “adequate and proportional security controls” are in place to protect the enterprises’ information assets and boost confidence among interested parties.

The above report one of the Minister’s biggest tasks. At the moment, the government is in the midst of developing an action plan to address the seemingly apathetic attitude among organizations to help the federal constitutional monarchy take advantage of technology and innovation.

The Minister warned that if security issues are not proactively tackled and resolved, these will slow down the adoption of the new technologies, such as IPv6 and cloud computing. It will be such a huge waste with a big opportunity cost for the government, citizens and organizations.

For the cloud, the Kinabalu-born politician pointed out the importance of data security in data storage. “Both the public and private sectors should be cautious with the data storage when using cloud computing and work closely with vendors to ensure the prevention of data loss,” he said.