cyber security

PUTRAJAYA: With cybercrime on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is vital for the country to put more emphasis on cybersecurity, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Cybercriminals, said the Prime Minister, have been exploiting the pandemic to carry out activities with “malicious intent”, taking advantage of the increase in people’s reliance on digital technology.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are living in a vastly different world today. Our lifestyles have changed and embracing digital technology has become a new norm.

“More Malaysians are getting themselves involved in e-commerce.

“Students have become more exposed to online classrooms while the economic and government sectors are relentlessly enhancing efficiency through digitalisation,” Muhyiddin said in his speech at the virtual launch of the Cyber Defence & Cyber Security Exhibition and Conference (Cydes 2021) yesterday.

However, such reliance on digital technology has not only created new opportunities but also opened up the floodgates of threats, risks and vulnerabilities, said added.

“Irresponsible cybercriminals are exploiting the situation to carry out their malicious intent.

“In 2019, the number of cyber incidences reported stood at 3,787. By 2020, the incidences had spiralled by a worrying 10% to 4,194,” he said.

“This year, the number is expected to surge further as can be seen in the first quarter alone where 1,300 cyber incidences have been reported,” he added saying that cybercrime had also shown an upward trend.

“According to statistics from the police, the number of cybercrime cases in 2020 was 14,229, with total losses of RM413mil.

“In the first quarter of this year, the number of cases reported was 4,327 and the losses involved were RM77mil,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the National Cyber Security Agency, which falls under the National Security Council, has been tasked with leading the country’s cybersecurity initiatives, and that Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob would be in charge.

“The government is serious and deeply committed to improving national resilience in safeguarding our cyber environment.

“All countries across the world should take this matter seriously,” he added.

The Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDigital), said Muhyiddin, reflected the government’s commitment to improving national resilience in safeguarding the cyber environment.

He said the action plans under the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy 2020-2024 would align with MyDigital with the aim of building a secure cyberspace.

Launched in February, MyDigital is a national initiative to transform Malaysia into a digitally driven, high-income nation and a regional leader in the digital economy.

The initiative is designed to complement development policies such as the 12th Malaysia Plan and the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030.

Cydes is a biennial international conference and exhibition under the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy 2020-2024.