MDEC Steps Up Efforts To Protect, Accelerate Cybersecurity Ecosystem

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Datuk Yasmin MahmoodDatuk Yasmin Mahmood

KUALA LUMPUR — In an effort to further boost and protect Malaysia’s cybersecurity ecosystem, Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) has connected British and Malaysian industry players with the local academia.

The agency today exchanged partnership agreements with United Kingdom’s Protection Group International (PGI) Ltd and Asia Pacific University of Technology (APU).

At the same event, APU also exchanged a partnership agreement with local security solutions provider, TecForte.

Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, said there was a shortage of over one million cybersecurity talents worldwide, adding that there were about 3,000 vacancies in the cybersecurity industry in Malaysia.

She said the collaborations between industry players and the academia would be able to identify the gaps in the industry and pilot critical skill set development within the academia.

“This will also help to upskill cybersecurity industry talents and produce high-income professionals,” she told reporters after witnessing the exchange of the agreements here today.

Also present was British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell.

She said cybersecurity professionals earned 20 per cent more than their peers in the information technology sector.

Citing a December 2017 LinkedIn report on cybersecurity talent in Malaysia, Yasmin said, only 21 per cent of them had up to four years of experience.

“However, it is most encouraging to see that according to the study, 21 per cent of the cybersecurity workforce in Malaysia are women, compared with 11 per cent in the US,” she said.

Yasmin said that collaborations such as ELITE - an educational outreach initiative by MDEC in partnership with APU and TecForte and MDEC’s talent programme, Platform for Real Industry Driven Project Exchange, would increase the “industry-readiness” of the graduates.

“Students will be exposed to real-time analytics, global threat intelligence and incident-handling framework within the campus environment,” she said.

Meanwhile, Treadell said, British companies had invested about RM240 million in digital-related industry in Malaysia in 2016, and said that there would be more of such investments this year.

“In June 2016, the UK and Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly promote the adoption of digital economy solutions.

“The exchange of the partnership agreements today adds a new dimension to our collaborations, as we see the UK technology industry and Malaysian academia joining hands,” she said.

Treadell said the agreements would help address the gap in cyber skill set necessary for the development of the technology sector, and encourage cyber research between the UK and institutes in the region.

— BERNAMA