MDEC steps up efforts to address cybersecurity talent shortage

February 9, 2018 @ 3:24PM
By Farah Adilla

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is stepping up efforts to address the current 3,000 professionals in the cybersecurity space through two strategic initiatives under Platform for Real Industry Driven Project Exchange (PRIDE), its talent programme.

The initiatives involved the collaboration between MDEC, UK’s Protection Group International (PGI) and the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU).

MDEC chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood said the shortage of talent in cybersecurity, which its gap now stands at one million professionals worldwide, is a crisis that cannot be ignored.

“Asean’s digital economy has the potential to add US$1 trillion to gross domestic product (GDP) over the next 10 years.

“However, the increasing wave of cyber threats and risks could impede trust and resilience in the digital economy and prevent the region from realising its full digital potential,” she told reporters after the exchange of the agreements here today.

According to a recent AT Kearney cybersecurity Asean study, top 1,000 Asean companies could lose US$750 billion in market capitalisation, and cybersecurity concerns could derail the region’s digital innovation agenda - a central pillar for its success in the digital economy.

Citing a December 2017 LinkedIn report on cybersecurity talent in Malaysia, Yasmin said 21 per cent of them have up to just four years of experience.

“The overall situation is cause for alarm as the funnel of new talent is too small and not enough to sustain and support growing demand of our digital economy,” she said.

Hence, through the facilitation of MDEC PRIDE programme, we will increase the industry-readiness of our graduates with ‘ELITE’ - the Educational Outreach initiative from cybersecurity industry provider, TecForte - which will feature a live learning Security Information Event Managament (SIEM) platform.

She said through SIEM, students will be introduced to hands-on cybersecurity operations and exposed to real-time event analytics, global threat intelligence, and incidents handling framework within the campus environment.

(File pix) Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chief executive officer Datuk Yasmin Mahmood. Pix by Asyraf Hamzah