Malaysia’s Cyber Threats Spike: Take Action Now to Stay Safe

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Malaysia cyber threats spike

Cyber-attacks or cyber threats, ranging from DDoS attacks to cybersecurity exploits resulting in data breaches, pose an ever-increasing threat to businesses, governments, and individuals. These attacks, whether perpetrated by hacktivists or state-sponsored cyber warfare units, are a growing cause for concern.

To stay informed and protected, organizations and users need access to up-to-date information on the latest cyber-attacks. 

Latest Updates of Cybersecurity Threats in Malaysia

It is important to note that cybersecurity remains a top concern for Malaysia due to a drastic rise in reports of online crimes. The country recorded over 20,000 cyber crime cases in 2021 alone, with losses amounting to RM560 million ($123 million) lost from victims. 

Communications and Digital Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching has warned that cybersecurity threats in Malaysia have been increasing in frequency and severity, with the country experiencing a number of serious cyber attacks last year, including ransomware attacks, cyber espionage attempts, data leaks, and cyber scams. 

Cyber Security Malaysia (CSM) has reported 4,741 cases of cyber threats in 2022, and as of February 2023, 456 fraud cases have been recorded. 

It is crucial to recognize the possible consequences of cyber attacks on individuals, companies, and governments, which may include monetary damage, identity theft, and disruptions to essential services.

In fact, Malaysia experienced an average of 84 million cyber attacks per day in the fourth quarter of 2022, making it one of the most vulnerable locations in the region, according to Fortinet, a global cybersecurity solutions provider.

These attacks, which included viruses, botnets, and exploits, were detected by FortiGuard Labs cybersecurity solutions. The country saw 61.1 million virus detections, 50.2 million botnet attacks, and 7.5 billion exploit detections throughout the quarter. 

The use of exploits has become a common technique used by cyber attackers, who wait for the right time to execute their attacks.

The cybersecurity industry is facing several challenges, including the complexity of the digital environment, cybersecurity skills shortages, and an increasing number of devices attached to applications. 

The recent cyber-attack on the Immigration Department’s official website in Kuala Lumpur, which resulted in the website being taken offline for repair and the implementation of new security measures, should serve as a wake-up call to individuals and businesses alike. 

Despite the fact that no information was leaked, this incident highlights the growing threat of cyber-attacks and the need for strong cybersecurity measures. 

The Recent Global Cyber Attacks

According to a report by Statista, Lithuania saw the highest number of cyber threats worldwide between October and December 2022, with 46.8 threats per 100 scans, followed by Hong Kong and Switzerland.

However, it’s important to note that the number of cyber attacks is not the only factor in determining the most affected country. The severity and impact of the cyber attacks also need to be considered.

In 2021, recovering from a ransomware attack cost businesses $1.85 million on average, and out of all ransomware victims, 32 percent paid the ransom, but they only got 65 percent of their data back.

Ransomware attacks have also been a major concern for Malaysian organizations, with 79% of them being targeted by ransomware in 2021, and 64% of attacks resulting in the encryption of data. However, it is worth noting that 81% of organizations in Malaysia have cyber insurance that covers ransomware attacks.

For companies without cyber insurance coverage for ransomware, it is crucial to take proactive measures to protect their organization against such attacks. 

Regularly backing up critical data, implementing multi-factor authentication, and providing employee training to identify and prevent phishing attacks are essential steps to enhance the organization’s security posture. 

These measures can help minimize the impact of a ransomware attack and reduce the likelihood of data loss or financial damages. 

It is important to note that cyber insurance should not be considered a substitute for implementing these security measures, as they are critical components of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy.

Malaysia Faces Significant Challenges in Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity solution in Malaysia is facing several challenges that need to be addressed to safeguard businesses and individuals from cyber threats. Here are some of the key challenges:

1. Increasing Cyber Threats

Cybersecurity threats have been on the rise in Malaysia, with the country ranking eleventh among countries with the most data breaches in the cybersecurity category during the second quarter of 2022. 

Among the common types of cybersecurity issues facing Malaysia are phishing attacks, botnet attacks, fileless attacks, and unencrypted data.

Additionally, between April and June 2022, the data of 665,200 Malaysians was compromised, highlighting the severity of the situation. Cyber attacks continue to be a significant threat to Malaysian businesses and organizations, with an increasing number of incidents reported.

2. Skilled Workforce Shortage

The shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals in Malaysia is a significant challenge that persists in 2022 and 2023. The gap between the demand for cybersecurity professionals and the supply of qualified individuals to fill these roles continues to widen. 

According to estimates, there are over one million unfilled cybersecurity roles worldwide. Microsoft, for example, has pledged to support the skilling of 1 million Malaysians by the end of 2023 to address this shortage.

3. Economic Impact

Cybersecurity threats are not only a threat to data privacy and security, but they also have a significant economic impact on businesses and organizations. 

The rise in cyber attacks has resulted in increased investment in cybersecurity by the Malaysian government and other organizations, with estimates suggesting that the cybersecurity market in Malaysia will continue to grow through 2023. 

However, despite these efforts, businesses and organizations in Malaysia remain vulnerable to cyber attacks, highlighting the need for continued investment in cybersecurity.

4. Difficulty in implementing cybersecurity at the organizational level

Despite the government’s efforts to increase investment in cybersecurity, businesses and organizations in Malaysia remain vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Integrating cybersecurity measures within an organization can be a daunting task, given the shortage of skilled personnel, financial limitations, and the complexities of implementing frameworks.

The Future of Cybersecurity

It is essential for individuals and organizations in Malaysia to prioritize cybersecurity solutions in 2023.

Although the Malaysian government is taking steps to address cybersecurity, the country’s readiness remains a concern, as cyber attacks continue to increase in frequency and severity.

According to a recent report, only 16% of organizations in Malaysia have reached the “mature” level of readiness to be resilient against modern cybersecurity risks. This means that the majority of businesses and organizations in the country are still vulnerable to cyber attacks. 

Furthermore, the cost of cybercrime is predicted to reach $8 trillion in 2023, and to grow to $10.5 trillion by 2025. This is a staggering amount, and it highlights the need for individuals and organizations to prioritize cybersecurity solutions to protect their valuable assets.

Fortunately, Malaysia is taking steps to address the issue, such as the establishment of the Malaysian Cyber Security Agency and hosting the Cyber Defence and Security Asia Expo and Conference in August 2023

However, it is important to note that these efforts need to be supplemented by individuals and organizations taking proactive steps to protect themselves against cyber threats.

Investing in cybersecurity solutions will not only protect your valuable assets, but it will also help to ensure that your business can continue to operate smoothly in the face of cyber attacks.

It is crucial for organizations to take action to improve their cybersecurity readiness to mitigate the potential impact of cyber threats in 2023 and beyond. Let us all take the necessary steps to stay safe and secure in the digital world.

Being Concerned is Not Enough, Start Cybersecurity from Basic

In today’s digital age, it’s essential to prioritize cybersecurity and take these proactive measures to protect personal and sensitive data online:

  1. Keep software up-to-date
  2. Use strong passwords
  3. Be cautious of suspicious emails
  4. Be mindful of public Wi-Fi
  5. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  6. Employ two-factor authentication (2FA)
  7. Use antivirus software
  8. Set up firewalls
  9. Back up important data
  10. Use endpoint protection software

Remember, cybersecurity is a continuous process, and staying informed about potential threats and remaining vigilant is vital to safeguarding against cybercrime. 

By following the tips above, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of falling prey to cyber attacks and ensure their online security.

Conclusion

As a concerned citizen who wants to see Malaysia become more resilient against cyber threats, I strongly encourage businesses and organizations in Malaysia to consider Acronis Cyber Protection as a solution for their cybersecurity needs.

Acronis Cyber Protection is a comprehensive solution that offers advanced protection against cyber threats such as ransomware, malware, and phishing attacks. It provides backup and disaster recovery, cybersecurity, and endpoint protection in one solution.

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud

By choosing Acronis Cyber Protection, you can have peace of mind knowing that your organization is protected against the growing threat of cybercrime. This solution is easy to use, cost-effective, and designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take action now to protect your business from cyber threats by investing in Acronis Cyber Protection. Let’s work together to ensure that Malaysia is ready to face any cybersecurity challenges that may arise in 2023 and beyond.

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Related articles:

Best Practices to Against Common Cyber Attacks

How to Protect Your Company Against Cyberthreats

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