KUALA LUMPUR: It is important for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to strike a balance between cyber security and the convenience of carrying out their core business in the current growing digital economy trend across the globe.

CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Amiruddin Abdul Wahab said SMEs needed to safeguard their valuable information, especially from digital attacks, while at the same time manage their businesses.

“The issue of cyber security is not really serious (at the moment), but I think awareness among the SMEs is still low, although it is increasing.

“There have been steps and actions taken but I think it is still insufficient because many of the SMEs are basically still using outdated technology defence. Some may even be using pirated software,” he told a virtual media briefing on Southeast Asia’s first 5G Cybersecurity Lab today.

He said another issue faced by the SMEs during this rapidly growing digital age is the lack of awareness and training on cyber security competency, as well as lack of good or sound policy or guidelines in their organisations.

“In addition, they also may be (less) focused on or giving less time and resources to incorporate investment in cybersecurity due to their focus on their core business,” he said.

5G Cybersecurity Lab is a joint effort between CSM, Huawei Technologies Sdn Bhd, and Celcom Axiata Bhd, as well as CSM’s Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence for the ASEAN region.

The test lab will be a model for end-to-end cyber security, covering a number of scenarios and offering services including mobile application and hardware evaluation.

It will also carry test cases including Internet of Things (IoT) security and telecommunications security, and look at improving readiness in responding to 5G-related cyber attacks.

In the context of CSM, Amiruddin said the organisation is tasked specifically to advise and support the development of the 5G Security Test Lab including space for the 5G test bed.

“We will also establish competent security test and auditing for the 5G security assessment, establish test lab accreditation from 5G test centres, from NESAS (standardised cyber security assessment mechanism) and common criteria, as well as offer evaluation services for 5G devices and infrastructure.

“As for Huawei, the company will be providing and supplying the 5G equipment for the ecosystem. In terms of the test bed development, it includes 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), edge as well as core network,” he added.

Meanwhile, Celcom Axiata will provide 5G network connectivity for the CyberSecurity 5G test lab, as well as provide dedicated 5G spectrum for the cyber security test bed, and participate in the pilot project of 5G security evaluation.

Amiruddin said 5G Cybersecurity Lab also falls under the thrusts three and six of the MyDigital initiative, a digital blueprint launched recently by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“Thrust 3 is about building and enabling digital infrastructure. Part of that includes 5G. Another one is Thrust 6 which is to build trusted, secure and ethical digital environment. This is about security.

“This is about 5G and security combined, and this is where we come in actually, playing the role as the national cyber security technical specialist in providing safer and secure 5G ecosystem,“ he added. — Bernama