KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia has emerged as one of the most progressive nations across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in terms of cybersecurity strategy, according to a new research commissioned by Cisco.

The research, conducted by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, highlighted Malaysia’s advanced national cybersecurity strategy.

In a statement Monday, Cisco Malaysia Managing Director, Albert Chai, said Malaysia’s leadership on this front stemmed from initiatives such as the establishment of a national agency to consolidate and coordinate cybersecurity agenda, drafting a cybersecurity bill and a comprehensive plan to develop cybersecurity professionals to meet growing demand.

Malaysia is in a position to drive a unified cybersecurity agenda in ASEAN, particularly in the areas of national strategy development, awareness creation and capacity building.

The cross-border nature of cyberattacks presents an opportunity for the Malaysian government to work together with cybersecurity experts, policymakers, industry players and business decision-makers within the region to fortify ASEAN’s resilience, he said.

He said the research report, titled ‘Cybersecurity in ASEAN: An Urgent Call to Action’, also highlighted that companies across ASEAN faced a growing risk of cyberattacks, which could expose them to a US$750 billion (US$1 = RM3.90) erosion in current market capitalisation.

The heightened risk was attributed to a combination of factors including the emergence of new technologies such as the Internet of Things, nascent policy preparedness, absence of a unifying regional governance framework, shortage of skilled talent, underestimation of risk and lack of adequate investment, he said.

Chai said while making great strides in their commitment to cybersecurity, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries were underspending in this area, averaging 0.06 per cent of its collective gross domestic product (GDP).

Malaysia, on the converse, spent just slightly above the regional average at 0.08 per cent of its annual GDP, half of the average spend by mature markets such as the US, UK and Germany, he said.

Source: NAM News Network

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