International Cooperation Strengthens CyberSecurity's Role
5 March 2010 (Bernama)
By Bashirah Bakar
KUALA LUMPUR,Issues relating to cyber security transcend national boundaries.
Therefore, tackling security issues relating to ICT even within the country calls for international cooperation, noted CyberSecurity Malaysia's Chief Executive Officer Lt Col (B) Husin Jazri.
CyberSecurity Malaysia is an agency under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation entrusted with the task of managing cyber security, including safety in the Internet.
"The culture of sharing information with its counterpart overseas helps to reduce cyber security problems," noted Husin during an interview with Bernama.
Husin pointed out that CyberSecurity Malaysia has established cooperation with 71 nations including within the Asia Pacific region and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).
CyberSecurity Malaysia has been appointed as the chairman of the OIC's Computer Emergency Response Team, and the committee member for Asia-Pacific Computer Response Team.
"The international cooperation denotes one of CyberSecurity Malaysia's successes, and our role at the international stage is something to be proud off," stated Husin.
ENSURING SECURITY OF THE CYBER WORLD
CyberSecurity Malaysia exchanges information with its foreign counterparts on cyber threats and learns of their strategies in enhancing cyber security.
By adopting international best practices, for example in digital forensics with the cooperation of South Korea, CyberSecurity Malaysia has extended its network.
CyberSecurity also conforms to international standards in carrying out studies at the international stage, said Husin.
In January this year, CyberSecurity Malaysia collaborated with the Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) in an annual drill to test the response capability of leading Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) from Asia-Pacific economies. The cyber drill exercise saw the participation of 16 teams from 14 economies; namely Australia, Brunei, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
Also in January, CyberSecurity Malaysia inked a MoU with Morocco's Post, Telecommunication and New Technology Department whereby both parties agreed to cooperate in protecting the critical information infrastructure, developing cyber security cooperation framework, develop competencies, conduct training and create awareness.
According to Husin, international platforms like the European Cyber Crime Convention provides an avenue to debate on cyber crimes.
"Taking part or organising international conference, workshop or seminar is the best option for CyberSecurity Malaysia to update knowledge in current issues of the cyber world," added Husin.
For example, on Feb 8 and 9 CyberSecurity Malaysia organised the Information Security Professionals Network Forum in Kuala Lumpur with international participants.
According to Husin, professionals from United Kingdom were invited to share their knowledge on tools, trends, laws and strategies on cyber security issues with cyber professionals in Malaysia.
EXPERTISE AND CHALLENGES
CyberSecurity Malaysia acts as the technical agency conducting analysis and activities to protect the nation's cyberspace especially in terms of technology and expertise.
For example, when the authorities need the advanced technical systems to analyze digital evidence, CyberSecurity Malaysia plays a role in helping out.
CyberSecurity Malaysia also holds activities and training programmes for Critical National Infrastructure to enhance the security of IT systems in the public and private sector.
In carrying out its responsibility CyberSecurity Malaysia has to face various challenges, noted Husin.
"This includes the difficulties in collecting evidence from overseas, that is time consuming and calls for the evaluation of the host nation," he said.
According to Husin the capabilities of Malaysian enforcement agencies in prosecuting cyber crimes has improved.
"Technical assistance from CyberSecurity helps enforcement," noted Husin.
ESTABLISHING A CONDUCIVE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
CyberSecurity Malaysia plays a vital role in establishing a safe and conducive cyber environment to help boost economic growth.
The Implementation of the National Cyber Security Policy, for example, directly and indirectly helps to change the ICT environment to a more positive one.
"The cooperation between the public and private sector in tackling cyber issues help generate economic activities. For example the local ICT industry develops software and hardware in coming up with applications like biometric access, MyKad reader, chip and other applications," said Husin.
As an agency established by the government, CyberSecurity Malaysia is financed by the government to assist the industry in enhancing the quality of ICT products with security features.
"CyberSecurity Malaysia provides the quality seal and recognition for the security features for businesses and industry to help enhance quality and add value to products and services that they provide overseas.
"Therefore local hardware and software developers have the opportunity to sell the products overseas with their security features guaranteed," he said.
According to Husin, at present CyberSecurity Malaysia has established cooperation with 17 foreign nations in providing benefits to entrepreneurs and consumers by recognizing products of quality based on ICT.
THE RESULT OF COOPERATION
CyberSecurity Malaysia's biggest achievement according to Husin is ensuring the security and well-being of the cyber realm, that not only benefits Malaysians but also Internet users worldwide.
"Through international cooperation, Malaysia could seek strategic partners overseas in the event foreign hackers threaten the nation and vice-versa," he said.
The latest, CyberSecurity Malaysia's contribution at the international stage also covers free information at its website www.cybersafe.my . The site provides tips on how to surf the Internet safely.
According to Husin, the public could also forward complaints and receive information on the latest cyber threats at the CyberSecurity Malaysia's web site (www.cybersecurity.my) or call the Cyber999 helpline that operates 24 hours daily at email@example.com or call 1-300-88-2999.