KUALA LUMPUR, 10 DECEMBER 2010 - Malaysia has a key role in the global security industry, according to Malaysian security agency CyberSecurity Malaysia.
"Malaysia can be a key player on the global security stage," said CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer, Lt. Col. Husin bin Jazri (retired). "In the information security industry, there are two major elements that are important. One is technical superiority, and the other is the element of trust."
"Malaysia has strategic advantages because of the use of English in the education system," said Husin. "Our graduates are trained in many different environments such as the UK, Australia, and Japan. The challenge we face is a developmental one in nurturing sufficient numbers of certified security professionals."
"The second component for the local security to further grow is the trust," he said. "As a moderate Muslim nation, Malaysia is in a friendly position with both Asian nations such as South Korea, China and Japan as well as western countries in Europe, the Middle East and the US."
"We are pursuing a proactive policy as part of the national developmental plan to train internationally-qualified security professionals," said Husin, adding that there were currently 2,000 professionals with international certification.
Husin was speaking during an event to mark World Computer Security Day (WCSD), which is an annual event commemorated worldwide since 1988 in the US every 30 November.
"CyberSecurity Malaysia was the first organisation to bring in WCSD into Malaysia in 2009," said Husin. "CyberSecurity Malaysia, which is an agency under the ministry of science, technology and innovation (MOSTI), is the sole certification body in Malaysia for the evaluation and certification scheme based on MS ISO/IEC 15408: 2005 Information Technology - Security Techniques - Evaluation Criteria for IT Security," he said. "Currently, we are being audited in order to become a producing country for security products for the global market."
Benchmarks must be global
The agency is encouraging further funding from the government to develop additional security professionals as well as to support local security companies, said Husin.
"However, security benchmarks must be global as criminal and cyber warfare is a borderless activity," said Husin, who recently won a prestigious security award -- the Harold Tipton lifetime achievement award given by the US security body ISC2. Husin is the only Malaysian and the second Asian to receive the award, according to ISC2.
"In the security world, there is less of a gap between different countries. It's a level playing field where the global world info security market is worth RM186 billion [US$59 billion]," he said, adding that the Malaysian creative content industry hub comprising 200 companies generated some RM837 million [US$266 million] annual revenue in 2009.
Awareness of the need for cyber security
"Since the launch of Cyber999 help centre the number of referrals has risen by 111 per cent over 2009 to 6,204 from 2937, said Husin. The most significant rise has been the level of fraud, forgery and online harassment. Users need to be careful in devising passwords and IDs, especially with cloud-powered applications such as social media, and change these regularly."
Speaking of highlights during 2010, he said: Themed 'Securing our Digital City', CyberSecurity Malaysia Awards, Conference and Exhibition (CSM-ACE) 2010 held in October included 91 exhibiting companies, 141 speakers, and 3,500 delegates."
CyberSecurity Malaysia chairman YA Bhg. General Dato' Seri Panglima Mohd Azumi bin Mohamed (retired) said this year's achievements were well-supported by the media in the country, which helped to raise security awareness in the country.
"The Islamic conference computer security response team activities as well as achievements such as CSM-ACE 2010, held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, were key highlights," said Mohd Azumi, adding that seven memorandums of agreement were also exchanged with parties that included Perak state government, Taiwan, national defence university of Malaysia and e-Worldwide Group.
Mohd Azumi added that the agency's plans in 2011 would build on the country's objectives to promote CyberSAFE as well as open a road into the global security industry space.
"These activities not only educate and inform the public and companies but also help to groom new cyber security talent in the country such as CyberSAFE forum for school children," said CyberSecurity Malaysia's Husin.
"Key events in 2011 include the 10th anniversary of Cybersecurity Malaysia on 10 April 2011, the 5th Counter eCrime Operations Summit on 26-28 April, 2011, the 12th Annual International Common Criteria Conference (ICCC) on 27-29 September 2011, and CSM-ACE 2011 to be held 25-29 September 2011," he said.
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