Cyber security a crucial component in technology development

KUALA LUMPUR: Cyber security, a preventive technique to protect the integrity of networks, programmes and data against criminals or unauthorised use of electronic data, is a crucial component in technology development and must be embedded in the initial stage of such development.

Cyber Security Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab said cyber security must be given priority in the initial development stage and not be left out as an afterthought in the era where digitalisation is growing at an exponential speed and disrupting almost every industry worldwide.

"Many technology developers are not cyber security experts and leave the aspect of cyber security after the technology has been developed. Such move will expose the technology to vulnerability and because of that, technology cannot go far and fast.

"It is also important for the top level management or the board members of a company to make cyber security an important concern instead of leaving it to the IT department," he told a press conference after delivering his keynote address at the inaugural 'Industry 4.0 and Digitalisation Conference' here today.

For that, he said training and re-training of employees in the aspect of cyber security was of great importance to ensure that they were aware of cyber security issues and understood how cyber attacks found its way into the company's electronic data.

According to Amirudin, a qualification in IT or Computer Science was not enough to make an employee a cyber security expert because it was a niche sector that required more and different types of training.

"We are targeting to have 10,000 cyber security experts in the country by 2020, but as of now, there are only 6,500 of them," he said.

He also reiterated that cyber security was an investment that must be considered before the technology development to ensure the sustainability of the technology, the well-being of people, and to govern the policy and process that reduce the exposure of technology to vulnerability.

"While the IoT could mean the 'Internet of Things', without cyber security measures in place, it can also mean the 'Internet of Threats'," he added.

The two-day conference beginning today is organised by Talent Development (M) Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM), focusing on the urgency with which Malaysia needs to respond to the fourth industrial revolution that saw more and more jobs moved into automation.