4 Cybersecurity Major Issues in Malaysia

Stay ahead of the game: Understanding Malaysia's top cybersecurity threats

Cybersecurity threats are a growing concern in Malaysia, with reports indicating an increase in both the frequency and severity of attacks from ransomware attacks to cyber espionage attempts, data leaks, and cyber scams.

Individuals and organizations in Malaysia are facing a wide range of threats to their sensitive information and assets.

As published by New Straits Times, Communications and Digital Deputy Minister of Malaysia, Teo Nie Ching, in 2022, Cyber Security Malaysia reported 4,741 cases of cyber threats.

In just the first two months of 2023, the National Scam Response Centre recorded RM27 million in losses due to cyber scams.

As cyber threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, it’s crucial for individuals and organizations in Malaysia to take proactive steps to protect themselves and their data.


Types of Cyber Attacks in Malaysia

Malaysia is not immune to the various types of cyber attacks. In recent years, the country has seen a rise in cyber attacks that include;

  1. Ransomware attacks.
  2. Cyber espionage attempts.
  3. Data leaks.
  4. Cyber scams.

Ransomware attacks are a particularly prevalent type of cyber attack in Malaysia, with cybercriminals using malicious software to encrypt a victim’s data and demanding a ransom to decrypt it.

Cyber espionage attempts, on the other hand, involve hackers attempting to gain access to sensitive information or intellectual property through cyber means.

Data leaks occur when sensitive information is exposed to unauthorized individuals while cyber scams typically involve fraudulent schemes that are designed to trick victims into giving away money or personal information.

The potential damage caused by these attacks can range from financial losses to reputational damage and even the loss of critical information.

It’s crucial for individuals and organizations to be aware of these various types of cyber attacks and take appropriate measures to prevent them.


Cyber Threats Landscape in Malaysia

According to recent statistics from CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM), the number of reported cyber threats in Malaysia is increasing year by year. In 2022, there were 4,741 reported cyber threat cases, an increase of 16% from the previous year.

Furthermore, cybercrime has become more sophisticated and difficult to detect, with many attacks targeting vulnerabilities in widely-used software and systems.

Among the most common types of cyber attacks in Malaysia are phishing attacks, which involve tricking victims into providing sensitive information, and malware attacks, which involve the installation of malicious software onto a victim’s device.

In addition, cyber attackers are increasingly targeting mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which can provide an easy entry point into a victim’s network.

It’s crucial for individuals and organizations to be aware of these trends and take proactive steps to protect themselves against these attacks.

This may include investing in advanced security solutions and implementing best practices such as regular data backups and security awareness training for employees.


Government Cybersecurity Efforts in Malaysia.

The Malaysian government has recognized the importance of cybersecurity and has taken various steps to improve the country’s cybersecurity posture.

In 2022, the government launched the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy, which outlines a comprehensive framework for addressing cybersecurity threats and building a more secure digital environment in Malaysia.

The strategy aims to enhance collaboration between government agencies, industry, and academia to create a more coordinated and effective approach to cybersecurity.

The Malaysian government has established the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) to serve as the central agency for coordinating and implementing cybersecurity initiatives across the country.

NACSA works closely with other government agencies, as well as industry and academic partners, to identify emerging threats and develop strategies for addressing them.

In recent years, the Malaysian government has also implemented various cybersecurity laws and regulations to protect critical infrastructure and personal data.

These efforts demonstrate the government’s commitment to improving cybersecurity in Malaysia and ensuring the safety and security of its citizens in the digital age.

However, there is still much work to be done to address the evolving cybersecurity landscape, and collaboration between government, industry, and individuals is essential to creating a more secure digital environment in Malaysia.


Cybersecurity Best Practices for Individuals and Organizations

To stay safe in the digital age, individuals and organizations in Malaysia must adopt cybersecurity best practices. One of the most important practices is to use strong, unique passwords for all accounts and to change them regularly.

Additionally, enabling two-factor authentication on all accounts can add an extra layer of security. It’s also crucial to keep software up to date, as cybercriminals often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software.

Regularly backing up data is also important, as it can help to mitigate the effects of a ransomware attack or data breach.

Organizations should also consider implementing security awareness training for employees, as human error is often a factor in cyber attacks.

This can include training on how to identify and avoid phishing emails and other types of social engineering attacks.

Furthermore, organizations should implement advanced security solutions such as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and antivirus software.

It’s also important to have a plan in place for responding to a cyber attack, including a process for reporting incidents and communicating with stakeholders.

By adopting these best practices, individuals and organizations can better protect themselves against the growing threat of cyber attacks in Malaysia.


Human Capabilities in combating cyber attacks

Human capabilities play a critical role in combating cyber attacks. While advanced technology and security solutions are important, they are not sufficient on their own.

Cybersecurity is ultimately a human problem that requires human solutions. This means that individuals need to be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and training necessary to identify and respond to cyber threats.

In addition, organizations must foster a culture of cybersecurity awareness and accountability, with strong leadership and clear communication channels for reporting incidents.

By prioritizing human capabilities in combating cyber attacks, Malaysia can develop a more resilient and secure digital environment that protects the interests of individuals, organizations, and the country as a whole.

There are many popular courses related to cybersecurity, and here are five popular courses or training related to cybersecurity:

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – Recognized worldwide for experienced IT security professionals who want to demonstrate their expertise in designing, engineering, implementing, and managing an organization’s overall information security program.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) – This certification provides individuals with the skills and knowledge needed to identify and exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and web applications.

CompTIA Security+ – This certification is designed to validate an individual’s baseline skills in network security, compliance, and operational security.

SANS Institute – SANS offers a variety of courses and training programs in cybersecurity, including courses on incident response, digital forensics, and threat hunting.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) – The CISA offers a range of courses and resources to help individuals and organizations develop their cybersecurity skills, including courses on incident response, risk management, and secure coding.



Cybersecurity threats are becoming increasingly common and severe in Malaysia. Cybercriminals are using more sophisticated techniques to target individuals and organizations, which highlights the importance of staying up to date with the latest cybersecurity trends and adopting best practices.

While the Malaysian government is taking steps to improve cybersecurity, individuals and organizations also have a crucial role to play in protecting themselves and their data. One key factor in this effort is increasing human knowledge, skills, and training.

By providing security awareness training for employees and investing in skills development for individuals, we can create a more cybersecurity-savvy population that is better equipped to identify and respond to cyber threats.

This, in turn, can help to create a more secure digital environment in Malaysia and protect the interests of individuals and organizations alike.

By working together and prioritizing cybersecurity, we can all play a part in building a safer, more resilient digital world.

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