Right mindset crucial in fight against cybercrime

Amirudin: Creativity is crucial in countering cyber attacks. — Filepic

BUILDING the country’s next generation of cybersecurity professionals is crucial to secure Malaysia’s critical information infrastructures across industries.

CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said to prepare for complex cyber threats, Malaysia must be creative in training the workforce.

“We must go beyond technology and mobilise an entire organisation and human resources to fully counter the threats.

“We also need to look beyond technical skills and consider hiring security professionals that possess the character traits that would make them successful in that position.

“A holistic cybersecurity strategy must encompass the three key elements of people, process and technology,” he said.

Today more than ever, all organisations in Malaysia, he believes, must inculcate a cybersecurity mindset in every employee to enable each of them to play a role in keeping the country’s digital data and resources safe and protected.

In the face of mounting cybercriminal activity and increasingly sophisticated forms of attack, Amirudin said companies that collaborate will present a more robust defence against cyber threats.

“In this regard, cybersecurity education resources should be shared.

“While training can be customised, the underlying principles of cybersecurity awareness must run as a common thread throughout every programme.

“We need to create a knowledgeable generation capable of fending off the ever-evolving cybersecurity threats, and produce high-value and skilled digital citizens who will keep Malaysia’s cyberspace safe as we head into a new digital economy order,” he added.

Where job prospects for cybersecurity graduates are concerned, UOW Malaysia KDU School of Computing and Creative Media head Assoc Prof Dr Tan Chin Ike said there are plenty in the market.

“There are many areas and opportunities in this field, with at least 50 or more job roles associated with cybersecurity.

“Each organisation has a different security architecture and various methods to employ defensive tools.

“Most international corporations and large companies have some form of security protocols in place but graduates can also work with telcos, financial institutions, and any organisation with sensitive data such as government ministries and agencies,” he said.

The common cybersecurity positions available include security analyst, information security consultant, cybersecurity compliance specialist and secure applications engineer, Tan shared.

Meanwhile, the more specialised ones, he said, include malware analyst, incident responder and threat researcher.

Cybersecurity experts’ role involves four vital areas, Amirudin said.

These are controlling, managing and maintaining the country’s cybersecurity infrastructure; dealing with various cyber threats and attacks; creating cybersecurity awareness among the public; and providing cybersecurity technical support.

Other crucial aspects of the job include strategising cybersecurity initiatives to protect information technology infrastructure, managing security activities, managing cybersecurity communications with stakeholders, and monitoring networks and data integrity.

“It is also their role to ensure all personnel involved have the required level of cybersecurity knowledge and skills.

“In a nutshell, cybersecurity experts are responsible for preventing data breaches, monitoring and reacting to attacks.

“They have the responsibility to advocate high standards of ethical conduct with up-to-date knowledge and skills that underpin professionalism and competent practices.“It is compulsory for experts and professionals to commit to the Continuing Professional Development mandates.

“This is to ensure their knowledge and skillsets are always relevant and current in addressing emerging cybersecurity issues,” he added.

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