Case Study

CYBERSECURITY TODAY

Cyber Threats And The Need For Security
Cyber Threats And Security

We live in an era where computers and the internet play an important role in society. They are widely used in the forms of personal computers, tablets, and smartphones, either socially or for official businesses. A study back in 2016 found out that 66.7% of Malaysians were already internet users with 71% of that on smartphones. Last year’s survey found that one in six Malaysians spent up to 9 hours a day on social media alone. This ‘connectivity’ and ‘curiosity’ addiction is so great that sometimes, getting into an area with no internet coverage makes them feel like they’re forgetting or missing something important and essential in life.

Ever Since the emergence of personal computers and the internet, people began to view and plan things differently in a broader spectrum. As businesses use this virtual platform to sell more efficiently, others use it to teach and offer assistance, politicians use it to expand influence while governments use it either for better governance or better control. Last but not least, the public in general use this opportunity to constantly get connected, broaden their horizons and ‘speed up’ their lives. Over time as the internet for mobile phones became easily accessible, faster and the users became more (and overly) cyber-centric, certain parties saw the opportunity to take advantage of this development in a negative way. What started out as harmless research and lab tests to study the limits and capability of the internet, now becomes a real nuisance in our lives and to a certain extent, a state-level security threat.

For this reason, that great amount of time spent in the cyberworld should come with a great awareness, since the security of the users’ personal data is always open to abuse.

 

Cybercrime can be defined as ‘a criminal activity committed with the use of computers and the internet, that targets other users, devices, a network or a certain organization’ while Cybersecurity as the practice of protecting those users, devices, network and organizations from malicious attacks. In short, it is about keeping our ‘home’ safe from intruders.

 

While many private organizations emerge as a solution to counter cyber threats, it is believed that every country has its own agency to deal with this on a larger scale. Afterall, cyber security is not a new word. Many cyber security agencies were set up even from the beginning of the first known cyber threats four decades ago. Now as the threat of cyber crimes become bigger and more prevalent in society, our government, private sectors and the public must be informed and educated to deal with it.

 

According to MyCert, there were many recorded cybersecurity breaches globally that affected corporate and personal data. In 2017, a hacker group called the Shadow Brokers breached the United States of America’s National Security Agency’s server. In the same year, Yahoo reported a data breach in 2013 that affected 3 billions accounts.

 

In Malaysia meanwhile, the biggest data breach also happened in 2017 where a huge amount of data was published for sale on Lowyat.Net. A year later, there was a 34% increase of cases, totalling to 10,699 cases that jeopardized personal lives, businesses, economy and possibly national security. The threat is real and Malaysians need to react.

 

This is where CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) works together with MyCert to educate and counter these threats. The agency had proven effective in many high profile cases, like the one that allegedly involved a minister who was accused of an unlawful act *1 and another, a British citizen *2 These two cases were examples of how CSM’s expertise were sought in order to assist in investigations.

Many incidences *3 of espionage and cyberterrorism worldwide had driven CSM to use their expertise to work together with other government and law enforcement agencies in ensuring that the country’s sovereignty is well guarded against any internal and external threats.

 

Many activities now from shopping to banking and billings involve online registrations while Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) requires us to register at every entrance to any premise. A huge amount of personal data is transferred across multiple platforms. In view of this, it is extremely important that CSM on our end, keep playing an active role in creating awareness and educating the public, the private sectors and other agencies on the need to use the internet safely and responsibly. Meanwhile, parents who expose their children to the world of computing and the internet should also keep themselves updated on statistics, patterns and the ever increasing number of new threats.

 

Just like many other tools, the internet is not a bad thing to begin with and we believe that through proper education, cyber crimes can be responded well and reduced, if not totally eliminated.

 

References:
 

*1   https://www.astroawani.com/berita-malaysia/cybersecurity-malaysia-siasat-ketulenan-video-aksi-intim-libatkan-individu-mirip-menteri-210350
*2   https://www.astroawani.com/video-malaysia/pakar-forensik-siber-dikerah-bantu-siasatan-116873
*3  https://www.cybersecurity.my/data/content_files/13/89.pdf
*3  https://www.cybersecurity.my/data/content_files/13/73.pdf

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