A centralized agency; an efficient governance structure; a long-term strategic plan that binds all aspects of cyber security comprehensively; a complete set of policy, an adequate legislative framework; an effective mechanism; a continuous research and development; a large number of talented and highly skilled personnel; a great leadership; a cooperative and supportive environment as well as international collaboration – it requires a wholly idealistic ecosystem that embraces all above elements to manage national cyber security holistically and successfully.
So, here’s come the big Question: Are we there, yet?
In lights of the recent event where Malaysia is placed third in Global Cybersecurity Index 2017 (out of 193 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Member States) indicates that Malaysia is getting where we wish to be. Still, that does not exclude Malaysia from facing some common cases and challenges in managing cybersecurity.
Over the last decades, the technical teams around the globe have been constantly in battles of evolving cyber attacks. Intrusions, web defacements, malware outbreaks, Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) and ransomware are among the common cyber attack cases they’ve been facing every day. These attacks by hacktivists, criminal groups or even an individual are normally driven by certain events, political, fear, financial or simply to harass their target for their own entertainment. Like any other countries, Malaysia is also facing these kinds of cases.
Striving for the best and effective model in managing cyber security is not an easy task. Challenges are inevitable.
Ensuring the effective implementation of the national cyber security framework for example, requires both strategically and technically knowledgeable people that able to well understand all aspects of cybersecurity and keep up with the emerging technology. In this context, getting the right people is a challenge, maintaining people with the right expertise is another challenge.
Additionally, the anonymity of attackers with no whereabouts in the digital world will only make it significantly harder for Malaysia to take legal actions. This will require close cooperation and engagement with other countries in the world.
On top of that, Malaysia has to admit that cybersecurity capacity building is among other areas that we are still lack of Policy maker, legal practitioner or technical personnel - all need to be trained to build their capacity in cyber security, thus be able to play their roles effectively.
Another foreseeable challenge is the evolution of technology. From the very first personal computer invented to the bloom of the World Wide Web in 1989 – thanks to Tim Berners-Lee; and now the Moore’s Law is breaking down which allows us to witness more emerging transformation and innovation of digital technology. Cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), to name a few; will also bring in the unknown threats. How will Malaysia react and adapt to this? How will Malaysia plan and strategise in embracing the changes while keeping up with the latest cybersecurity technology?
Well, after almost two decades that cyber security is no longer an enigma, again we may ask, are we there yet? Despite the challenges that we are facing, I can say that Malaysia is moving towards the right direction in securing our cyber space. Realizing that we cannot work alone, Malaysia is really looking forward to collaborate with other countries to ensure a safer cyber world, towards a secure future.