Trend, Niser to promote cybersecurity awareness
7th November 2005 (The Star)

KUALA LUMPUR: Antivirus specialist Trend Micro Inc, is planning on working with the National ICT Security and Emergency Response Centre (Niser) to increase the awareness of cybersecurity in the country.

Ang Ah Sin, Trend Micro regional marketing manager, said nowadays, it is common for a new virus to be written every half-an-hour.

"Security should be second nature to everyone. We've (Trend Micro) been saying this for years. Yet, this isn't so," he told In.Tech last week.

Ang said despite new viruses being written every 20-30 minutes, many consumers aren't aware of the danger.

This, he said, is why Trend Micro want to educate the public on cybersecurity.

In its latest quarterly security report, MyCERT (Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team) - a unit of Niser responsible for tracking and logging security incidents, and analysing major security incidents and trends - said it has received "a series of reports" of phishing sites hosted on Malaysian servers during the first nine months of this year from foreign financial organisations and international CERTs.

MyCERT said to date, there are 17 cases of phishing scams being hosted on local servers. (See In.Tech, Nov 3)

To kick off this effort, Ang said Trend Micro is proposing to hold specialised seminars aimed at creating awareness, at college campuses.

"Our experience has shown that this can work based on what we have done in Singapore, where we've run awareness seminars in conjunction with the national Security Awareness week held there annually," he said.

Ang said it would take a lot of funding to run a seminar on such a scale in Malaysia. "But perhaps we could start on a smaller scale, targeting university campuses," he said, adding that Trend Micro could run the event in conjunction with an event such as the PC Fair.

According to him, Trend Micro could arrange for professionals to talk to students and hold quizzes on overall security practices.

He said Trend Micro has successfully used the Snake and Ladders boardgame to illustrate the importance of security in Singapore.

"Players would attempt to finish the game by moving up the ladders. If you were hit with spyware, you drop down a snake; if you were to chance upon antivirus, you go up the ladder," said Ang.

Ang also said these events could be held every quarter. "We are working with Niser on this. We haven't determined how and when, will be announcing something in the next one or two months," he said.