The Malaysian government is setting aside RM1.8 billion for its Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy (MCSS) 2020-2024 to improve the country's cyber security preparedness. The Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the National Cyber Security Agency will be responsible for creating, implementing, liaising and monitoring the action plan, Bernama reported quoting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

According to Muhyiddin, the plan was conceptualised based on five pillars covering 12 strategies, 35 action plans and 113 programmes. The first pillar boosts the management of national governance and cybersecurity by improving Malaysia's critical ICT infrastructure. It also improves the country's ability to effectively handle cybersecurity issues, Bernama reported. The next pillar focuses on bolstering the enforcement of current cybersecurity laws by reviewing related legislation and formulating laws on cybersecurity.

The prime minister added that the third pillar aims to empower innovation and world standard technology in cybersecurity, while the forth seeks to improve development capacity and cybersecurity skilled manpower, Bernama added. Lastly, the fifth pillar seeks to boost international cooperation by leveraging regional and international cooperation to protect Malaysia's cyber space, Muhyiddin said.

Separately, CyberSecurity Malaysia, an agency under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia, received 838 incident reports between 18 March to 17 April this year, The Star reported . Of the 838, 18% of the cases involved local companies, while the rest were home users and others. According to The Star , the number is a leap from the 459 cases during the same period last year.

Cybersecurity breaches have become a commonplace in today's digital age. Should brands fall prey to that, the most important thing is to remain calm and alert their security teams. Kerry Singleton, managing director, cybersecurity, Asia Pacific, Japan and China, at Cisco told A+M previously that brands should also engage a third-party firm that specialises in breach response, adding that many organisations already have firms on retainer, or at least identified as vendors to work with.

Meanwhile, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, Yeo Siang Tiong, said an initial assessment should be made to assess aspects such as cause of the data breach and whether it is still ongoing; number of affected individuals; types of personal data involved; affected systems; and whether help is required.

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