Sunday, February 25

Gov’t, private entities need advanced cybersecurity systems to prevent leaks – expert

Government departments, agencies, and private entities handling users’ personal data must invest in the latest cybersecurity systems to prevent information leakage.

Dr. Mohd Izuan Hafez Ninggal, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology senior lecturer, said that while implementing advanced cybersecurity measures may require substantial funding, it is important to enhance the organisation’s IT security level.

“The necessary tools and solutions for cybersecurity already exist in the market,” he told Bernama, while emphasising the importance of allocating funds to utilise these resources, suggesting that financial considerations for upgrading the IT security level of government agencies could be included in future budget presentations.

ln addition, he said the human factor is a crucial element in cybersecurity and as such, organisations need to raise awareness among staff to prevent information leakage.

“For example, hackers may disguise malicious code or scripts within seemingly official documents sent via email and clicking on such documents can grant hackers access to the internal data of the targeted organisation,” he said.

Mohd Izuan Hafez also highlighted the importance of internal audits and establishing a clear code of practice and standard operating procedures (SOP) as these measures are crucial to prevent misconduct in the management of user data.

Meanwhile, cybersecurity expert Datuk Dr Mohamed Ridza Wahiddin emphasised the importance of human factors complementing technology to effectively ward off cyber attacks.

“Sometimes, administrators do not update and patch their software in a timely manner. Once our data has been compromised, not much can be done.

“Hence, much emphasis should be placed on ‘prevention is better than cure,’” he said adding the need for Malaysia to continually enhance education for the public, government agencies, and industries on various forms of cyber threats.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Cyber Consumer Association (MCCA) president Siraj Jalil pointed out that the Social Security Organisation (Perkeso) data breach incident serves as a signal for policymakers to prioritise the Cyber Security Act.

“If this act is not prioritised by policymakers, whoever leads the country will face the same issue of data intrusion because this extends beyond political considerations,” he said.

Yesterday, Perkeso assured that despite the hacking attempts since last Saturday, the agency’s system, information database, and website would not disrupt services for contributors, employers, and the public. — Bernama

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