Establish chief information security officer within ministries to address data breaches

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil has called for the establishment of the Chief Information Security Officer position within every ministry to effectively address the issue of data breaches following recent incidents such as the breach of the Social Security Organisation (Perkeso) database.

He said the responsibility for this change lies with the Chief Secretary, chief executive officers, and the highest echelons of ministries while citing cyber threats as a challenge and that the government must safeguard the security of ministries’ data in light of evolving cyber risks.

In addition, he said numerous modules within ministries’ websites require enhancement or renewal, necessitating the formulation of a specific plan at the ministry level.

“We are witnessing a rise in the ingenuity and sophistication of hackers’ techniques and there is a growing concern that they might leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technology to breach, hack, and illicitly obtain our data.

“I perceive a significant challenge in the realm of cybersecurity,” he said when appearing as a guest on Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM}’s Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme in conjunction with the Madani Government’s One Year Anniversary Programme.

Meanwhile, Fahmi said the government plans to set up 186 new digital economy centres (PEDi) next year, including in each state constituency aimed to bolster initiatives fostering entrepreneurship among the people, including in rural areas.

He also shared that the focus of the ministry next year will be to ensure that telecommunication companies (telcos) actively engage and employ a greater number of young individuals equipped with technical and vocational (TVET) skills.

“The Prime Minister has issued a directive for tecos to actively participate in TVET programmes, especially given their extensive involvement in laying fiber optic cables, presenting an opportunity to engage a large number of young people.

“The Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the government are urging Vocational Training Institutes to support government-related companies and some key enterprises by providing training and subsequently hiring more employees,” he said.