ARE GOVERNMENTS LANDING IN A CYBER SECURITY MESS?
This might be less true of the first world, but for the developing world this might turn out to a nightmare, the nature of which no one would have thought in the wildest dreams. Governmental digital infra is creaky for a variety of reasons in resource scarce and expertise scarce economies. Neither does it get the due it deserves or is crying for. Unfortunately, the data they handle is humungous ranging from personally identifiable information to national security, economy, finance and what not. The recent cyber security Malaysia report can be an eyeopener and there are tons to learn from it, provided we first learn to accept the stark and harsh reality.
According to Cyber Security Malaysia report, against all expectations to the contrary, the government sector experienced the greatest number of data breaches. Additionally, the telecom sector leaked the highest volume of data in the first half of the year. Of the 2023 breaches, the government sector accounted for 22% of the breaches, followed by telecommunications at 9%. It is not only the question of numbers, which could soar because of very sophisticated attacks or even a large number of cutting-edge threat actors making the government a target, for whatever reasons.
What is worrying is that the national cybersecurity specialist agency said that government ministries and agencies “are exposed to significant cyber risks, including vulnerable software, weak access controls, data exposure and other critical issues.” While being a government agency, it puts the whole government in the dock. Suffice to say, it paints a gory picture as things stand today in the Malaysian government, pertaining to preventive cyber security standards and its future. Understanding the gravity of its own findings, the Agency has recommended a comprehensive assessment across all government agencies.
It goes on further to suggest that the comprehensive assessment should cover web and hosting infrastructure, data centres, internal systems and the ministry’s entire ecosystem. This means to say that the agency is not confident of any of the existing digital / networking infra in its entirety. They have gone ahead to the next granular level of detailing; 71% of these incidents are related to Admin Panel/C Panel, customer data and sensitive data leaks. It needs to be reiterated that we live in challenging data protection times and such a comment does not augur for the nature of infra which has been created for this purpose. Of the total 842.84GB data exposed, telecommunication sector topped with 424.92GB followed by the government sector at 291.49GB. Trying times ahead for Malaysia and rest of the developing world with the ever-increasing cyber threats.
CYBER SECURITY IS A BEAST GOVRENMENTS MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO EVADE.
Have a nice evening.