Commentary on Malaysian Budget 2020 by Sophos

Comment by Wong Joon Hoong, Country Manager, Sophos Malaysia:

Wong Joon Hoong_Country Manager_Sophos Malaysia

Following the announcement of Budget 2020, it’s no doubt that Malaysia is anticipating a full year of technological revolution ahead. With 21.6 billion invested into 5G development, the country is looking to sway into full motion of digital transformation. With stronger connectivity and more training platforms across, we are looking at a rapid increase of online businesses, day-to-day transactions, and massive amount of data exchange in the cyberspace. On the business front, with an allocation of 550 million to develop the manufacturing sector for automation facilities in line with IR 4.0, operations become digitalised and valuable data are now made online. However, with the sudden hike in digital involvement, does our security lifestyle keep up?

The biggest responsibility on security then falls on the shoulders of organisations, both public and private, to shelter Malaysians from the rapid rise of cyberattacks. More important than ever, organisations must not only focus on upskilling the employees to utilise new digital solutions, but also re-evaluate their knowledge on protecting online information.

According to Sophos’s latest research, The Future of Cybersecurity in Asia Pacific and Japan – Culture, Efficiency, Awareness revealed that 51% of Malaysian respondents don’t think they have the necessary resources to secure their digital assets, this includes a competent cybersecurity team in place to properly detect, investigate and respond to threats. In terms of talent recruitment, which Malaysia is lacking, 72% of respondents expressed difficulties in recruiting skilled cybersecurity experts. As a global leader in next-generation endpoint and network cybersecurity, we believe that this is a crucial time for businesses to recognise the importance of protection technology in line with the digital transformation plan. As upcoming digital initiatives in the country unfold, it is crucial for businesses to strengthen their protection technology in tandem with the deployment of disruptive technological solutions. This, to date, has a huge space for improvement.

Though, businesses are not the only gatekeepers for security in this new age. Individuals, like ourselves, are also critical in this security maintenance cycle. The push for a cashless Malaysia is not slowing down. With more transactions being done online, people need to be educated on how to secure their e-wallets.

With proper funding and policies currently in place, there are now more opportunities for both public and private sector to join arms in educating businesses of all sizes to take action in securing the cyberspace. Sophos believes that education on cybersecurity remains a critical concern. In fact, 83% of respondents said that staying up to date with cybersecurity technology is challenging. As such, apart from grooming talents, it’s also important to start engaging with top decision makers to ensure that they invest into this sector to prevent future security failures.

For Malaysia to prosper equally across the nation, there must be shared consensus on how technology investments are distributed to support economic activities across different sectors, communities, and locations. However, it’s a must to not move too quickly without having proper prevention and protection measures in place. Regardless, Sophos is excited to celebrate the upcoming developments which Malaysia foresees.

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