Why security is key for inclusive digital-first economy


Taking precautions: A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy is vital for businesses.

IN a report by Deloitte titled, “The Next Wave – Emerging Digital Life in South and South-East Asia”, it was stated that 78% of consumers from the South and South-East Asian regions have increased their use of digital services during the pandemic.

Closer to home, the report also indicated that Malaysia along with Singapore, has shown the highest frequency of use in every digital life indicator.

However, with the pandemic leading to a surge in digital adoption, there is also the growing presence of cyber threat risks.

As more people continue adopting digital tools in their daily lives, there has been a rise in instances of cybercrimes taking place, as more bad actors seek to take advantage of the vulnerabilities of people and organisations who are unprepared.

Microsoft in its 2021 Digital Defence Report stated that in the past year, the world has borne witness to a burgeoning cybercrime economy and the rapid rise of cybercrime services. The cyberattack landscape is becoming increasingly sophisticated as cybercriminals continue – and even escalate – their activity in times of crisis.

Well aware that home offices are generally more vulnerable to cyber risks compared to a centralised office, cybercriminals took advantage of this fact and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) more often than not have become victims of these attacks.

In fact, 84% of SMEs have been compromised by cyber threat incidents while 76% of SMEs have suffered more than one attack, according to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp.

This reality calls for all businesses, regardless of its size, to adopt a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. At the core of Microsoft’s security approach is Zero Trust, which is based on the principle of “never trust and always verify”.

Successful Zero Trust strategy deployments have been proven to help empower people to work productively and securely when, where, and how they want.

In addition, Microsoft offers a variety of security solutions customised according to the needs of each business, including SMEs. More than just a collaboration tool, Microsoft 365 for Business not only empowers productivity, but also comes with built-in security features.

From multi-factor authentication and encrypted communications to antivirus and malware filters, users will have access to enhanced protection of data from cyberthreats. In the event that any organisation-owned device falls into the wrong hands, users can also easily remove sensitive data through Microsoft Intune.

Importantly, users can streamline setup, management, and costs with a single easy-to-use productivity solution, making this cost-effective and time-efficient – crucial for any SMEs out there.

To share more insights on empowering a secure digital transformation for SMEs, Microsoft in partnership with Star Media Group is hosting the Microsoft Malaysia SME Forum: Leveraging Modern Technology to Drive Business Growth on March 30 and March 31 at 11am to noon, featuring a line-up of speakers from SME Corp Malaysia, Leaderonomics Digital, MyEG, Lalamove, Infront Consulting Group, Softline Malaysia and Microsoft Malaysia.

For more information or to sign up for free, visit bit.ly/starmicrosoft-forum

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