KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) is stepping efforts to connect British and Malaysian industry players with a local university to further protect and accelerate Malaysia's cybersecurity ecosystem.
MDEC and United Kingdom's Protection Group International (PGI) Ltd; MDEC and Asia Pacific University of Technology (APU); and, APU and local security solutions provider, TecForte, today exchanged partnership agreements.
Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, said worldwide there was a shortage of over one million cybersecurity talents and Malaysia contributed about 3,000 of the unfilled positions.
She said the collaborations would be able to identify gaps and pilot critical skill set development within the academia.
"The moves will also help up-skill cybersecurity industry talent to produce high-income professionals," she told reporters after witnessing the exchange of the agreements here today.
Also present was British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Vicki Treadell.
It is understood that the salary of a cybersecurity professional is 20 per cent higher than their peers in Information Technology sector.
Citing a December 2017 LinkedIn report on cybersecurity talent in Malaysia, Yasmin said only 21 per cent of them had up to just four years of experience.
"It is encouraging that the study also showed that 21 per cent of cybersecurity workforce are women compared with 11 per cent in the United States," she said.
Hence, she said through the facilitation of MDEC's talent programme named Platform for Real Industry Driven Project Exchange (PRIDE), together with ELITE - the Educational Outreach initiative that is in partnership between APU and TecForte, the collaboration would increase the 'industry-readiness' of the graduates.
"Students will be exposed to real-time analytics, global threat intelligence and incidents handling framework within the campus environment," she said.
Meanwhile, Treadell said British companies had invested about RM240 million in the digital-related industry in Malaysia in 2016.
She believed more similar investments would be taking place this year.
"In June 2016, the UK and Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly promote the adoption of digital economy solutions.
"The partnership formalised today adds a new dimension to our collaboration as we see the UK tech industry and Malaysian academia join hands," she said.
Treadell expressed confidence that the agreements would help address the gap in cyber skill set necessary for the development of tech sector, as well as encouraging cyber research between the UK and institutes in the region.