KUALA LUMPUR: The low salary and lack of exposure are seen as among the factors which led to a lack of talents in the profession in Malaysia.
Cyber security specialist Fong Choong Fook said even though Malaysia offers good wages in the field, the country’s workforce is likely to choose Singapore because of higher pay.
He said cyber security is one of the sectors that received the highest pay in IT in this country, but when compared to Singapore, the income in that country is more lucrative due to the currency exchange rate.
“This is because the gross income of local cyber workers in the country is around RM3,200 while in Singapore it is SGD3,000 (RM10,500) and this is a factor why the country faces a shortage of cyber security experts,“ he told Bernama recently.
In addition, Fong who is cyber security consulting company LGMS Berhad executive chairman, said the government should provide incentives or tax deductions to encourage more talents in cyber security to be interested to work in Malaysia.
“If the government wants to achieve say 25,000 talents, Malaysia must help the local industry first. The trick is to make policies that can support this industry, such as giving incentives and tax deductions, so companies can afford to pay workers with more attractive wages,“ he said.
Meanwhile, Universiti Utara Malaysia computing network lecturer Prof Dr Suhaidi Hassan said there was a lack of public awareness and exposure on the importance of having more cyber security experts.
He said when Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, there was an increase in information hacking due to the rapid development of technology besides the increased dependence of the community on internet facilities during the pandemic.
“Initially we didn’t realise this was important but after Covid-19, we experienced cyber security problems, I see the need for Malaysia to have more experts in this field. When we look at people’s reliance on the internet, this means we also need more manpower,“ he said.
He said UUM collaborated with CyberSecurity Malaysia, to offer specific programmes not only at the undergraduate level but also at the postgraduate level to further improve the quality of cyber security in the country.
“Improvements in terms of co-curriculum will always be done, also in terms of facility accessibility. We will increase the intake in line with the need to add talents in cyber security.
“The need of cyber security is not only to increase the human resource but to also raise the quality, knowledge, expertise so that we are always updated with what is happening out there and to handle cyber security attacks better,“ he said.
Meanwhile, commenting on the increasing development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, Suhaidi said Malaysia should adopt AI because it is good for national development.
“Every technology has its good and bad, so we need to empower local researchers so that we are more advanced in the use of AI technology. Not only that, we also need to empower the national cyber technical agency which is CyberSecurity Malaysia,“ he said.
According to Suhaidi, in terms of legislation, the Cyber Security Bill needs to be passed by Parliament soon.
Earlier, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was reported to have said that Malaysia needs at least 25,000 workers in the field of cyber security by 2025, but in that year it is estimated that there will only be 13,000 workers in the market. -Bernama