Sarawak industries urged to boost cybersecurity preparedness amid rising threats

Lo (in yellow shirt) together with the organiser and attendees of the Tech Forum held at the Old Courthouse on Jan 17, 2024.

KUCHING, Jan 24: There is a critical need for industries to enhance their cybersecurity preparedness in the face of escalating threats, says Batu Kitang assemblyman Dato Lo Khere Chiang.

Lo underscored the significance of industry readiness for the digital economy shift as Sarawak advances towards the Post-Covid Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030.

He noted that over 200,000 cyber attacks were reported in Malaysia in 2021, resulting in a staggering loss of over RM500 million.

During the ‘Hack to Protect: The Future of OT/ICS Cybersecurity’ Tech Forum held at the Old Courthouse recently, Arc Technologies Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Phong Mai highlighted that this figure represents a concerning 61 per cent increase from 2016 to 2022

Phong also pointed out that the global financial impact of cyber crime is estimated at USD8 trillion in 2022, with a projected annual growth of 15 per cent over the next three years.

Arc Technologies Sdn Bhd, a leading technology solutions provider, took a proactive stance in addressing the growing vulnerability of the Operational Technology (OT) industry in Sarawak by organising the forum.

According to a media release, the forum aimed to shed light on the pressing cybersecurity challenges faced by the OT industry and to explore potential measures to safeguard critical infrastructure.

Keynote speakers included Phuong D Nguyen, the founder of ECQ, an offensive security company, and Hubert Heng, division manager of ST Engineering.

These industry experts shared insights into proactive cyber defense strategies tailored for OT critical infrastructure.

With participation from 40 professionals representing various industries, the invite-only forum facilitated discussions and raised pertinent questions about the evolving landscape of cybersecurity in the region.

A special highlight of the forum was the Smart City hacking demonstration, showcasing potential vulnerabilities in city infrastructure.

The success of the ‘Hack to Protect’ Tech Forum marked a significant step towards creating awareness and building collaborative efforts to ensure the security of OT infrastructure in the face of evolving cyber threats. — DayakDaily