Cabinet to finalise policy on cyber security ecosystem on July 19, says PM

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof reading out the Prime Minister's speech at the opening of The Cyber Defence & Security Exhibition and Conference (CYDES) 2023 here on Monday (July 10).

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet meeting will finalise policies to streamline the national cyber security ecosystem on July 19, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The Prime Minister said this showed that the unity government was serious in its commitment to address cyber security challenges.

"I want to be unequivocal in saying that the unity government will not compromise the security of our cyberspace, nor will it brook delays in this regard.

"What we are lacking in time, we will make up with hard work," he said in his opening speech of the Cyber Defence & Security Exhibition and Conference (CYDES) 2023 here on Monday (July 10).

Anwar’s speech was read out by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who launched the event on his behalf.

Emphasising the need for the government to lead by example in creating a secure and resilient cyber ecosystem, Anwar said Malaysia needed to recalibrate and restructure the national cyber security ecosystem and governance.

After chairing the first National Cyber Security Committee meeting last month, he said the government "took crucial decisions to fortify cybersecurity in Malaysia".

One of the important decisions made was to support the National Cyber Security Agency (Nacsa) as the primary agency responsible for cyber security.

This agency will report directly to the Prime Minister, and all efforts to improve cyber security will be coordinated and strengthened under its authority."This will ensure central coordination and enable us to establish cohesive and comprehensive strategies to counter cyber threats, streamline our efforts, and maximise collective effectiveness," said Anwar, adding that the meeting concluded that the immediate drafting of a Cyber Security Bill was necessary.

"The Cyber Security Bill will provide Nacsa with a clear legal authority to regulate and enforce laws pertaining to cyber security, thus enhancing the effectiveness of their functions.

"CyberSecurity Malaysia, a company limited by guarantee that also plays an important role in strengthening the cybersecurity ecosystem in Malaysia, will be placed under Nacsa to avoid duplication," he said.

According to the World Economic Forum's 2023 Global Cybersecurity Outlook, 93% of cyber leaders and 86% of cyber business leaders believe that geopolitical instabilities make a catastrophic cyber event likely in the next two years."Forty-three percent of cyber business leaders believed that a catastrophic cyber event would have a material impact on their own business, yet only 27% of business leaders believe they have achieved cyber resilience.

"The significant gap between cyber resilience companies and the likelihood of a material catastrophic impact is worrisome and should be addressed collectively by governments, businesses, academia and civil society," he said, while also quoting the State of Cyber Threat Intelligence Report 2023, which said 26,900 vulnerabilities were reported in 2022, out of which 55% were remotely exploitable.

"A total of 4,518 data breaches were reported. Threat actors exposed or stole 22.62 billion credentials and personal records, ranging from account and financial information to email and social security numbers."Anwar noted that securing the cyber ecosystem at the national level can only be achieved through good governance and effective strategies with measurable outcomes, while the government must "lead by example in creating a secure and resilient cyber ecosystem".

Anwar also said CYDES 2023’s theme of "Building Cyber Resilience: Safeguarding the Digital Future" was fully aligned with the principles and goals of the Malaysia Madani concept.

"The ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats necessitates a proactive approach to equipping ourselves with the necessary skills and knowledge.

"I hope CYDES 2023 will be an important platform where capacity and capability building can be further built and expanded," he said.

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