Cyberspace policeman staying vigilant
9 FEB 2010 (The Star)

Husin: 'We have plans and resources in place to disseminate information, issue alerts and ensure a co-ordinated response to mitigate the threats to our society.'

KUALA LUMPUR: Cyberattacks in Malaysia are under control, thanks to government efforts to ensure a safe electronic environment in the country, said CyberSecurity Malaysia chief executive officer Husin Jazri.

"Cybersecurity here is the same as in other parts of the world; we have issues and challenges that we face but it is under control, he said.

He said the Government is making even more effort to address the issues through CyberSecurity Malaysia, which is the national cybersecurity specialist centre under the purview of the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.

"We are part of the value-chain that is involved in cybersecurity. When an incident is reported to the Cyber 999 Help Desk, an investigation is undertaken immediately and the victims are advised on what they should do," he said on the sidelines of the CyberSecurity Professional Networking Cocktail event here.

Cyber 999 Help Desk is a one-stop reporting centre for the public to lodge complaints on any incident taking place in cyberspace.

Going up

Last year, 3,564 cases were reported to the centre, an increase of 68%, compared with the same period in 2008.

"This figure shows that there is a rising awareness about cybersecurity," Husin said, adding that CyberSecurity Malaysia works with state and local governments and the private sector to ensure an organised and unified response to cyberincidents.

"Given the enormous damage that can be caused by even a single cyberattack, ad-hoc responses will not be enough. Neither is it sufficient to simply strengthen our defences after incidents or attacks occur.

"We have plans and resources in place to disseminate information, issue alerts and ensure a co-ordinated response to mitigate the threats to our society," he explained.

Quoting a report last year, Husin said Malaysia lost RM1mil via Internet banking fraud.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung explained in Parliment recently that 50.3 million Internet banking transactions were conducted between January and June 2009, involving RM348.5bil, while the loss was a meagre RM1mil.

Ready to pounce

Husin said CyberSecurity Malaysia launched the Malware Research Centre last year, as testimony to its commitment to weed out new emerging threats.

"It assumes a vital role in identifying and analising new threats that may harm Malaysia's infrastructure and economy," he said.

Husin said that under its key performance indicators for 2010, CyberSecurity Malaysia has to train about 1,500 experts this year to produce world-class services in the near future.

It is also exploring partnerships with international players to address cybersecurity issues.

It recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Morocco's Department of Post, Telecommunications and New Technologies to establish close co-operation. - Bernama