Malaysia and Philippines plan cybersecurity tie up

By Charlene Chin

Countries in talks towards a formal partnership, says CEO of Cybersecurity Malaysia.

Malaysia will work with the Philippines to build up its cybersecurity capability, the CEO of Cybersecurity Malaysia has said.

“They want to collaborate officially with us, so we are very positive about it, and we are working on that to formalise the partnership and relationship”, Amirudin Bin Abdul Wahab - CEO of Cybersecurity Malaysia - told GovInsider.

Last week, he made this offer to the Microsoft Cyber Security Summit in Manila. Malaysia will assist the country’s new Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center, parked under the newly-formed Department of ICT, which was signed into law May this year.

“If they require any training [and] capacity building programme - because they are a new entity - then we can come and assist”, he added.

In April, the Philippines suffered a massive cyber breach on voter data, where 55 million voters’ information were hacked.

These included email addresses, passport numbers, and fingerprint records. Cybersecurity Malaysia can train Philippines officials on a wide range of areas, Amirudin said.

This includes critical infrastructure protection, digital forensics, cryptography, and basic cybersecurity awareness for officials. Malaysia can also “advise and assist them in their policy strategy planning for cybersecurity in the Philippines”, and help set up a CERT team to address cyber threats in the country, he said.

Malaysia’s MyCERT team was set up in 1997, and serves as the community touchpoint to deal with computer security incidents.

“They require that kind of competency which we have, and we have a lot of experience in”, Amirudin said.

“This is a good start, [as] part of our engagement with our ASEAN partners and countries, because we [feel] that it is important to work alongside the countries”, he said. Cybersecurity is not “a local issue, so we have common problems [and] threats, so we need to work together and strengthen each other in building a more secure cyber space”, he added.