DPM: Govt mulling cyber security Act

Dr Wan Azizah said this was decided at the e-Sovereignty Committee meeting today. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Dr Wan Azizah said this was decided at the e-Sovereignty Committee meeting today. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PUTRAJAYA, April 19 — The government is studying the possibility of introducing an Act on cyber security, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

She said this was decided at the e-Sovereignty Committee meeting today, which also discussed the proposed launch of the National Cyber Security Strategy in July this year.

The e-Sovereignty Committee, chaired by Dr Wan Azizah, is the highest body in national cyber security management and is responsible for drawing up government policies on planning and implementation of cyber security strategy.

Dr Wan Azizah said the National Cyber Security Strategy would map out proactive actions in a comprehensive manner to protect critical systems in the country, including those belonging to the public and private sectors, business entities and the people.

“This strategy will involve the implementation of 37 action plans to strengthen national cyber security,” she said in a statement issued in conjunction with the meeting.

It will entail the development of a national plan for implementing integrated awareness programmes involving government agencies, the private sector, industries, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), she said.

She said the National Cyber Security Strategy would be implemented through the pooling of resources and infrastructure development which focus on forming a National Cyber Security Workforce to ensure the country could optimise use of its existing resources.

Dr Wan Azizah said more preventive measures to tackle cyber threats will be implemented to enhance the country’s level of preparedness in dealing with cyber threats and attacks.

A mechanism should be identified to stop postings or dissemination of information with criminal elements via the social media network, she said.

She said cooperation with social media platform service providers like Facebook and Twitter should be stepped up to ensure that postings of a criminal nature were taken down immediately.

The government will also strengthen the capability of the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA).

Based on NACSA statistics for 2018, 47 percent of cyberattacks reported were intrusion attempts with 1,862 cases, followed by malware infection (1,444), intrusions (540) and denial of service (88). 

For cybercrimes, Dr Wan Azizah said police statistics showed that as of March this year telecommunication scams were the most common crimes reported with 849 cases involving RM28.7 milion.

This is followed by e-financial fraud with 225 cases involving RM22.1 million, 392 cases of love scam (RM15.3 million) and 841 cases of e-commerce cheating (RM4.3 million). 

There were also cases involving offences in terms of Internet content like fake accounts/websites, harassment, slander and scams, she said.

Based on statistics from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), there was a 19 percent increase in complaints on abuse of social media in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, she said.

Dr Wan Azizah said to protect children online, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry had launched a child safety campaign known as Smart Friends: Safe and Protect. 

A total of 250 schools throughout the country involving 60,579 people comprising children, parents, guardians, teachers and the community participated in the campaign between 2014 and 2018. — Bernama