Strong digital infrastructure, cyber security will improve investor confidence
13 Mar 2023
The robustness of the digital infrastructure and cyber security will give investors confidence to choose Malaysia as their investment destination.
Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said Malaysia has the potential to become the “Asean Digital Tiger” in the future, by having a solid communication and digital infrastructure, strengthening cyber security, as well as nurturing digitally literate citizens.
He acknowledged Amazon Web Service’s (AWS) decision to invest RM25.5 billion in Malaysia is an early sign of investors’ confidence in the country’s administration and political stability.
He noted that the investment will give a positive spillover to the economy, creating job opportunities and at the same time, pushing Malaysia to become the leading country in Asean in terms of digital capabilities.
“We now see that many companies are choosing Malaysia to set up data processing centres such as in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Cyberjaya and Penang. This trend is increasing.
“The challenge for us is to ensure that some basic things are implemented immediately. We want to ensure that digital literacy, which is the level of people’s understanding, increases at a fast rate.
“We also want to reduce incidents of fraud, theft or data leakage and website intrusion,” he said during the Invest Malaysia conference recently.
Fahmi also highlighted that the government’s target for the digital economy contribution to GDP is 25.5% by 2025.
He said the target can be reached earlier, if everyone including the private sector, public sector and consumers understand the roles they play, making sure that everyone can get on board.
“What we need is to operate, build trust, work together for the greater good…and soon we can realise what I like to call a golden digital decade for Malaysia.
“I believe that we can get this done,” he added.
Speaking on cyber security threats and protecting critical national digital infrastructure, Fahmi said he has instructed his ministry to look into strengthening the Personal Data Protection Department.
He opined that for a long time, this department has not been viewed seriously enough by the public or private sector.
Fahmi also noted that data is a national treasure, and it is not to be kept in a vault.
“It is theoretically an inexhaustible resource, only if we understand its value, we protect its integrity and we deploy it efficiently.
“In order to do that, all of us as data users, as per the current Personal Data Protection Act must play our role to understand that we must be custodians of this national treasure,” he said.
Fahmi also emphasised that the government must encourage and invite the private sector to reconsider how we treat data, as Malaysia will see more and more investments because of its repositioning as a regional data hub.
Previously, Bernama reported that the proposal to establish a Malaysian Cyber Security Commission is currently at the engagement stage with related agencies to discuss the various legal aspects as well as the form of the commission itself.
Fahmi hoped to table the proposal in Dewan Rakyat in June after receiving the approval of the Cabinet as well as the top management.
He also noted that the progress of creating this commission will not be that fast and it will take a year or two.
However, he said the function or jurisdiction of the task of monitoring cyber security carried out by CyberSecurity Malaysia will continue.
On top of that, Fahmi also said the ministry plans to review the country’s cryptocurrency policy to streamline data security aspects in the country.
He said cryptography involves encryption which is key to data security and now other countries have started to implement new policies regarding quantum cryptography, a more advanced field of mathematics.
Cyber security issues continue to be the top concern in Malaysia, as the country moves towards embracing digitalisation.
Recently, Trend Micro shared that in Malaysia, a total of 555 million cyber threats were blocked in 2022, which is a 16% increase year-on-year (YoY) from 2021.
The cyber security software company also pointed out that it detected an increase of 16% in ransomware attacks in the country, up 16% from 2021.
The number of detected malware surged by 71% in 2022 to over 50 million, likely due to threat actors taking advantage of unpatched virtual private networks (VPN), connected mobile devices and back-end cloud infrastructure brought on by the new hybrid working model.
According to Trend Micro, to manage risk effectively across a rapidly expanding attack surface, stretched security teams need a more streamlined, platform-based approach.
It also recommended that organisations adopt a platform-based approach to managing the cyber attack surface, mitigate security skills shortages and coverage gaps, and minimise the costs associated with point solutions.
Source: The Malaysian Reserve