Using licensed software is essentially the first line of defence in the war against cyberattacks, according to national digital security specialist agency CyberSecurity Malaysia and non-profit organisation The Software Alliance (BSA).
Speaking in Kuala Lumpur (31 May 2017), CyberSecurity Malaysia's chief executive officer YBhg. Dato' Dr. Haji Amirudin Bin Abdul Wahab said the new alliance with BSA comes at a critical time of rapidly increasingly cyber threats at all levels from homes to businesses.
Recently, just before his opening keynote at this year's Computerworld Malaysia Security Summit, Dr Amirudin gave an exclusive interview warning that attacks were now ranging up to state level. (See - Malaysia at risk: CyberSecurity Malaysia chief covers espionage and state level attacks)
Speaking of the partnership, Dr Amirudin said, "As the nation's cyber security specialist agency, we welcome BSA's timely invitation to work together at this critical time. We are ready and look forward to co-operate with them on a reciprocal basis."
Photo - (From left) YBhg. Dato' Dr. Haji Amirudin Bin Abdul Wahab, Chief Executive Officer of CyberSecurity Malaysia and Gary Gan - Director of Compliance Programs, Asia Pacific, BSA
"BSA is the perfect partner for CyberSecurity Malaysia due to our shared objectives i.e. to encourage corporate Malaysia to use legal and licensed software," he added. "It is critical that consumers, IT managers and enterprise PC users to not underestimate the seriousness of cyberattacks. They should take the necessary precautions to prevent against such cyberattacks in future."
While the terms of the joint collaborative effort have yet to be finalised, both organisations have agreed to begin promoting each other's shared goals.
Other upcoming initiatives include cyber court training for magistrates and prosecutors, training company directors on the dangers and risks associated with using unlicensed software, and participation in the annual Cyber Security Malaysia - Awards, Conference & Exhibition (CSM-ACE) scheduled later in the year.
A matter of ethics and risks
"Only the use of legal and licensed software can help reduce the risk of cyberattacks against your organisation's computers and IT infrastructure," said Dr Amirudin. "The use of legal and licensed software should be part and parcel of Malaysian companies' ethics."
Also present, Gary Gan - director of Compliance Programs, Asia Pacific, BSA, confirmed: "Computer users in Malaysia continue to use illegal and unlicensed software at an alarming rate despite its associated links with cyberattacks."
"The 2015 Global Software Survey by BSA, Seizing Opportunity Through License Compliance, reveals the rate of unlicensed software installation in Malaysia is at 53 percent, equating to a commercial value of US$456 million," said Gan.
"The survey also warned against consumers, IT managers, and enterprise PC users using unlicensed software in their computers and IT infrastructures," he said. "The survey highlighted that when unlicensed software is used, the likelihood of encountering malware dramatically increases."
"BSA has always worked closely with various government agencies and ministries in promoting the use of legal and licensed software," Gan continued.
"The commitment shown by the Enforcement Division of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) under the strong leadership of its Director of Enforcement, YBhg. Dato' Mohd Roslan bin Mahayuddin is highly commendable," he said. "Although the rate of unlicensed software installation in the country remains at an all-time low of 53 percent, there is still much work to be done to rid the use of unlicensed software in Malaysia."
"As a foreign non-profit organization with limited resources, BSA always seeks like-minded partners with similar objectives," added Gan. "As such, BSA would like to thank CyberSecurity Malaysia for agreeing to join forces with us in promoting the greater use of legal and licensed software amongst computer users as the first line of defence against future cyberattacks."
As a final note, Dr Amirudin emphasised: "Users of illegal and unlicensed software should be aware they cannot update their IT systems with regular updates released by software developers and owners unlike those who use legal and licensed software. Therefore, their computers or IT infrastructure are more vulnerable and highly susceptible to possible hacking by cybercriminals."
You may also like read recent WannaCry ransomware coverage in Malaysia. See -
- Global ransomware attacks prompt national 'WannaCry' alert from CyberSecurity Malaysia
- Why Malaysia's PIKOM has not received a single WannaCry report
- WannaCry attacks: Former Malaysian hacker predicted healthcare target
The latest edition of this article lives at Computerworld Malaysia
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