KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — Cybersecurity remains one of Malaysia’s top concerns following a drastic rise in online crimes reported in the country.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said the number of cases recorded associated with cyberbullying, fraud, intrusion, phishing and email scams had almost doubled.

He said in 2019, around 13,000 cybercrime cases were reported involving total losses of RM539 million, and the number increased to approximately 17,000 cases in 2020.

Last year, the number of cases increased to more than 20,000, with total losses worth RM560 million while as of February 2022, the number of cases reported was 3,273 involving losses of RM114 million.

“Many of our current and emerging threats involve new technologies that were unheard of even a decade ago. At the same time, today’s national security landscape is changing at a faster pace than ever before.

“As such, keeping up with these changes is one of our region’s biggest defence and national security challenges,” he said in his speech at the launch of Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2022 and National Security (Natsec) Asia 2022 exhibitions at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here tonight.

Apart from showcasing the latest technologies and services, Hamzah said DSA was a crucial platform to encourage capacity building and establish mutually-beneficial foreign partnerships, in line with the objectives to strengthen regional defence and security.

DSA 2022 and Natsec Asia 2022 exhibitions are scheduled to be held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) here from March 28 to 30.

The exhibitions are only open to high-level delegates, government employees, professionals and executives in the defence and security industry, as well as police and enforcement agencies, with this year’s event featuring more than 1,000 exhibitors from 60 countries.

Meanwhile, Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in his speech said the Asean region currently faced a more diverse range of serious threats than at any point in history.

Hishammuddin said events such as DSA and Natsec played an important role as a platform to deal with serious threats, as they involved the participation of high-ranking armed forces personnel, businesses and organisations from within the region and around the world — all under one roof.

“As countries all over the world continue to focus on recovering from the devastating impact that Covid-19 has brought, we, in the security business must remain ever vigilant in facing the threats to our countries and region.

“Traditional and non-traditional threats, in various shapes and forms must be effectively addressed before it escalates to pose clear, present and even catastrophic danger to countries all over the world,” he said. — Bernama