While growth is often celebrated, a surge in digital threats is not something to be proud of. Statistics from Sarawak’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department paint a concerning picture; in 2023, cyber-related attacks skyrocketed by 18.74%, with 1,901 cases recorded between January and November. This marks a dramatic jump from 2022's 1,601 cases for the same period.
This grim trend extends beyond sheer numbers. Online fraud, the most prevalent form of cybercrime, climbed alarmingly, with 1,306 cases reported in just the first seven months of 2023. Sarawak's Police Commissioner, Datuk Mohd Azman Sapri noted that this represents a 12.49% increase compared to 2022's figures.
But the true sting lies in the financial losses. Online scams fleeced unsuspecting Sarawakians of a staggering RM49.3 million in 2023, nearly doubling the RM24.7 million lost in the same period the year before. This translates to a devastating 99.56% surge, highlighting the growing financial devastation wrought by these digital bandits.
Sticking to the saying “prevention is better than cure,” Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) will establish a cybersecurity unit to curb the spread of cybercrimes in the state, as stated by its general manager, Dato Dr Anderson Tiong. It is a proactive initiative from the state’s regulatory body, that is looking to help improve the overall security posture of all organisations in the state.
Nurturing IT Literates
The unit recognises the importance of public awareness in creating a digitally resilient state. Its main aim is to educate and demystify complex cybersecurity concepts for everyday individuals. With the development of a cybersecurity code of practice to improve the public’s awareness about cybersecurity, the code ensures the people of Sarawak make informed choices online and become responsible digital stewards.
Simultaneously, Sarawak's commitment goes beyond merely erecting digital ramparts. The unit recognises that effective cybersecurity transcends technology; it hinges on cultivating a skilled workforce and a culture of awareness. Hence, its focus on talent development, evident in collaborations with innovation hubs and digital villages, creates a fertile ground for nurturing a pool of cybersecurity professionals. This investment not only empowers Sarawak's businesses but also attracts tech giants, transforming the state into a digital powerhouse.
The impact of the unit's efforts is already tangible. Organisations in the state are now taking proactive steps to strengthen their cybersecurity postures. This ultimately translates to a reduction in cybercrime incidents and a safer, more secure digital environment for businesses to operate and thrive.
As a result, Sarawak will potentially be able to attract greater investment and establish itself as one of the nation’s leaders in digital safety and responsible online practices, paving the way for sustainable growth and innovation in the years to come.
Just Having Skills is Not Enough
While fostering a pool of skilled cybersecurity workforce and raising public awareness is crucial, it is vital to remember that robust technology remains the bedrock of cyber defence. Having inadequate technologies poses significant challenges for companies in the real world, according to Tenable:
Security programs today are reactive when they should be proactive.
The attack surface is not siloed; unfortunately, many security programs are.
Despite abundant data, security pros struggle to connect and use it effectively.
While challenges remain, Tenable offers to help these digital defenders overcome their hurdles and emerge victorious in the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Through the Tenable One Exposure Management Platform, cybersecurity experts can now optimise time and resources, concentrating on actions that genuinely mitigate risk. This platform consolidates diverse data sources into a unified exposure view, enhancing visibility, prioritising tasks, and effectively eradicating cyber risks.
For detailed insights into Tenable's exposure management approach and the Tenable One Exposure Management Platform, click here: