MDEC, ISACA in partnership to develop cyber security talent

CYBERJAYA: Malaysia Digital Economic Corp (MDEC) yesterday announced a partnership with global technology and information security association ISACA focused on improving competencies and workforce skills in cyber security in its effort to curb the shortage of cyber security professionals.

MDEC director of enabling ecosystem Wan Murdani Wan Mohamad said the partnership will provide training to 150 students from eight local universities in a pilot programme from now until December.

“This partnership is about building the talent in cyber security, because MDEC is responsible for developing the digital economy and we recognise that cyber security has a shortage of skilled professionals. We have to collaborate with the right partner so we can bring in industry-relevant modules to the universities,” he told reporters after the partnership inauguration ceremony here today.

The partnership will leverage on ISACA's training and professional development, certification, content and conference capabilities to help fuel MDEC’s digital transformation drive. It will ramp up the development of talent in the cyber security sector, generate more awareness for data protection and scale up partner programmes.

Malaysia is targeting to have 10,000 cyber security professionals by 2020, from about 6,300 professionals now.

“With the right programmes, we believe we can achieve (10,000 security professionals by 2020). It’s not solely the responsibility of MDEC to address this so we’re working closely with other relevant stakeholders to make sure we can achieve the target,” said Wan Murdani.

Apart from developing talent, he said, it needs to generate more interest and awareness so that students can consider cyber security as one of the specific skills or jobs that they want to pursue.

“This is part of our efforts to address the skills in cyber security because the opportunity is huge in this area. There will be more adoption in the cloud and IoT (Internet of Things) that require cyber security personnel to support this digital adoption,” he added.

With almost 75% of cyber security managers and practitioners globally expecting to fall prey to a cyber attack, according to an ISACA survey, cyber security remains a top priority for Malaysian businesses, and governmental and academic leaders.

MDEC and ISACA have agreed to share knowledge and best practices and to cooperatively develop awareness in the areas of technology governance, risk and information and cyber security, in products and services aimed for business technology professionals and enterprise organisations in the region.

Wan Murdani said in the four sub-cyber security sectors of consulting, integration, training and managed security, the growth in managed security will be high in the next three to four years.

Malaysia’s managed security service market is expected to reach US$224 million (RM937.8 million) by 2021, at a compounded annual growth rate of 25.1%.

“More and more smaller companies are becoming more reliant on third party managed services rather than investing in infrastructure. The outsource model is becoming more prevailing,” said Wan Murdani.