“ASEAN needs to spend about $171 billion collectively on cyber security between 2017 and 2025, and not doing so can potentially cost the top 1,000 companies about $750 billion in market capitalisation”, said President and CEO of EC-Council, Jay Bavisi, as he reflected on the state of affairs of cyber security in the region. He also commented that various reports have stated that Southeast Asia is hugely at risk of cyber attacks and organisations within the region are not investing nearly enough in security. Every country within the region, save for Singapore, is spending less than the global average of cyber security spending.
Jay spoke during the opening address of the Malaysian Cyber Security Summit held in KL yesterday, which was kicked off by the Malaysian Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Wira Dr. Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah. The theme for this year’s event was “Collaborating for Cyber Security”, a calling for public and private organisations in the region to work together to tackle cyber security challenges head on through new ideas and approaches in an increasingly treacherous cyber security landscape. It is no longer an issue that can be fully addressed locally.
To speak at the full house event, attended by CEOs, senior information security executives, government officials, heads of IT associations and cyber security leaders, among others, the EC-Council had carefully selected leading industry experts to give attendees the opportunity to hear first-hand experiences and gain insights on the latest developments in the cyber security space.
One of the highlights of the summit was a panel discussion titled “Navigating ASEAN’s Cyber Threat Landscape with a Resilient Cyber Security Strategy”, with panellists that included H.E Chun Vat, Director General of the Cambodian Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Dato’ Dr. Haji Amirudin Bin Abdul Wahab, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia, Dr. Rudi Lomanto, Chairman of the Indonesia Security Incident Response Team on Internet Infrastructure, and Thillai Raj T. Ramanathan, CTO of Mimos Berhad. Jay, who moderated the discussion, mentioned that we are now at the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, also known as the digital revolution. The panel highlighted nine key technologies of this digital revolution: AI, Big Data, IoT, Edge/Cloud Computing, System Integration, Additive Manufacturing, Simulation, Augmented Reality and Cyber Security. The risks and opportunities brought about by cryptocurrency and the underlying blockchain technology also became a hot discussion topic during the day.
These complex technologies that are making their way into every aspect of business and everyday life carry with them deep repercussions for organisations today and for that reason, cyber security has to be treated as a business enabler instead of an inhibitor. “For every dollar that organisations in the ASEAN region fail to spend on cyber security, they’re going to lose four dollars in terms of cost when a cyber incident actually happens,” Jay warned. However, he also conceded that just because you spend more doesn’t mean that you’re going to become far more secure. Where and how the money is spent becomes a critical element that organisations need to think about.
Also addressed was some of the most pressing issues faced by today’s ASEAN organisations, such as skill gap development, enhancing threat intelligence sharing, the rising threat of ransomware, policy making and regulations for cybercrime. Based on the turnout and reception of the summit, the first of its kind held in Malaysia, it was certainly an important first step to encourage industry players in the region to step up their efforts on cyber security and to bring the ASEAN community together as one in the fight against cybercrime.