Ibrahim (left) and Kaspersky launch the Kaspersky Research Centre
WIDESPREAD cyber threats in recent years indicates a need for a wider pool of programmes from more varied cultural backgrounds.
“Cybercriminals often exhibit culturally-linked patterns in their schemes, and battling them effectively sometimes requires outthinking them through the thought processes of a different culture,” said Kaspersky Lab co-founder and chief executive officer Eugene Kaspersky.
“Malaysian culture and Malaysian thinking may provide fertile ground for information security experts. We can learn from each other,” said Kaspersky during his first official visit to Malaysia where he launched the Kaspersky Academy education programme at University of Technology Mara (UiTM) recently.
Kaspersky, who was here to encourage closer ties between Malaysia and Kaspersky Lab and to facilitate the exchange and sharing of cyber security knowledge, outlined the alarming nature of online threats. He said malware is now squarely aimed at making money rather than mischief and as online crime has become a multimillion dollar industry, all parties involved have come to accept the risks rather than exposing the full extent of the problem and undermining consumer confidence.
“One of the latest trends is ATM systems being infected with Trojans giving criminals total access to money.”
“While financial institutions are aware of this theft, they are unable to prevent it because they don’t know what to do,” he said in his lecture on Taking Responsibility for the Internet.
Kaspersky said the key issue regarding cyber crime is the relative anonymity of Internet users.
“To design a safer e-World we need better Internet regulation, such as Internet Passports for individuals, accreditation for businesses, and temporary storage of necessary requests, whilst there is also a need for what I term an Internet-Interpol which will see more international police collaboration on cybercrime,” he said.
Kaspersky encouraged more Malaysians to participate in the programmes offered through the Kaspersky Academy as a starting point to careers in the secure content management solutions industry.
The Kaspersky Academy operates across the four main areas of education, academic partnership, science and competition to provide opportunities for young people to gain exposure to the world of information security.
Most of the coursework is self-study with online discussion and mentoring while major conferences such as ‘IT Security for the Next Generation’, diploma projects, internships and part-time work placements, as well as support from the Internet security community provides additional learning and opportunities.
In addition, national, regional and global competitions and Olympiads will be organised in order to hone the skill levels of participants to a higher degree.
“At present the Kaspersky Academy has seen over 220,000 participants and is available globally through more than 1,200 schools and institutions of higher education with approximately 20,000 teachers, professors and advanced students ready to assist and support participants,” said Kaspersky, who also opened the first dedicated Kaspersky Research Centre in Malaysia at UiTM dedicated to cyber security research and development among tertiary students.
UiTM vice-chancellor Tan Sri Datuk Seri Prof Dr Ibrahim Abu Shah said the choice of UiTM as the venue for the first Kaspersky Research Centre in the nation was recognition of the strides made in shaping a student population of tech-savvy, out-of-the-box thinkers.
“As UiTM celebrates its 71st convocation, this recognition from Kaspersky Lab is much appreciated as it serves to highlight how far we have come as an institution of higher learning that can produce quality graduates who can rival the best in the world,” said Ibrahim.
Meanwhile, winners of the Malaysian Cup of the Kaspersky Academy International Students’ Conference ‘IT Security for the Next Generation’ received awards and cash prizes of RM3,500 per research paper.