Women urged to join cybersecurity talent programme (Updated)

21 Jun 2019 / 00:37 H.

PUTRAJAYA: Women can help to unlock the next frontier in ensuring a safer cyberspace if they play a bigger role in managing cyber security, according to Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh.

“We want more women to join the cyber security industry,“ she said at the launch of the Empowering Women in Cyber Risk Management event here today.

She said many women want to rejoin the workforce but statistics from TalentCorp and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants show that at least 63% of them have difficulty doing so.

“Many women take a break from their careers to take up new challenges such as childcare. They need flexible work hours or the option to work from home,“ she said.

However, if women are able to fully take part in the workforce, they have the potential to raise the nation’s gross domestic product from RM6 billion currently to RM9 billion.

Yeoh said an initiative to help women return to the workforce by empowering them with the right skills can help to strengthen the cyber security industry.

She said an internship programme aimed at honing their skills in cyber security services has been introduced and women could join the programme to kickstart their careers.

However, those interested must first meet some requirements, including three years of experience in the corporate sector. She urged more women to take part in the programme.

MDEC chief executive officer Surina Shukri said cyber security breaches would have serious implications for the economy.

In the first quarter of this year, RM68 million was lost through such breaches. She said one of the biggest cyber crime cases reported in Malaysia was a telephone scam involving 773 cases and losses of about RM20 million.

Surina said there are about 7,000 cyber security professionals in the country now, far below the target of 10,000 the government wants by next year.

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