Digital transformation is accelerating, priorities are shifting, and working from home has become the new normal. As we continue to traverse this new environment, we must also consider how to mitigate the risks of cyberattacks, which are on the rise as a result of the current crisis and the associated increase in remote work.
“Over the last two years when we went through the pandemic, we have seen incidences of scams and cyber frauds being perpetrated on the public and this shows the critical need to enhance cyber security,” said Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, President of KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific at the “Cybersecurity and Trust: Building Mutual Trust to Enhance Digital Economy,” webinar, hosted by Huawei Malaysia.
According to Ms Rita Irina Wahab, Huawei Malaysia's Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, the COVID 19 pandemic prompted even more widespread use of the internet, with technology infiltrating more and more facets of daily life and business. Digitalisation has become a necessity rather than a luxury.
“Along with the benefits this has brought, this accelerated digitalisation has also placed governments, businesses, organisations, and individuals in more vulnerable positions - making them more susceptible to cyber attacks,” she said.
As a result, the nature of cyber attacks has evolved, and hackers now have access to a wide range of potentially valuable information, including sensitive and confidential data.
Ms Rita provided a statistic from the World Economic Forum, stating that sharing threat intelligence is a vital method for government and industry to collaborate in the fight against cybercrime. “Governments and companies have different sources of information, insight, and intelligence, pulling them in a timely and strategic manner will create a clearer and more current picture of cyber threats,” she added.
This information can also be used to replicate this throughout countries in the region to combat cyber attacks. Such activities are beneficial but information sharing is insufficiently consistent and timely. All of this is built on the foundation of trust.
"Since there is no overarching single authority that governs or polices internet communities," Ms Rita explained, "it is up to us, the corporate sector, business leaders and the government, to create an environment of trust that ensures the validity of the digital economy."
To do so, it is necessary to comprehend the role of cybersecurity in establishing a digital economy, how businesses and governments can prepare for the future, how mutual trust can be established, the opportunity and impact of innovative technologies on the economy, and the role of public-private partnerships in establishing a vibrant and trustworthy digital economy.
“Trust is something that we can no longer take for granted. We understand that now our digital age has made it harder and it's more difficult to know who to trust, and whom to trust. Trust must be built link by link, taking into account the importance of governance integrity and innovation in building trust," said Mr Mohamed Anwer Mohamed Yusoff, Head, Industry and Business Development, CyberSecurity Malaysia.
Mr Paul Michael Scanlan, Chief Technology Officer, Carrier Network Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, who was also in attendance at the webinar, stated that trust can be built via education and collaboration.
“If you want to grow the economy and transform industries, you need three things: Education, collaboration and building mutual trust. Education because there’s a lot of misinformation around and we lack consistent information that would allow people to make the right decisions. Once we have that, we need collaborations across a multitude of players,” he said.
He went on to say that in a digital and smart world powered by 5G, the cloud and AI, a safe and reliable cyberspace is critical to the nation's economy and people's livelihoods. As a result, increasing cyber resilience is critical, and it must be proactive.