Cybersecurity, privacy needs in digitalisation of everyone’s concern

Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.

– Edward Snowden, American whistleblower

By Datuk Dr Mohd Abdul Karim

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us a greater lesson in life; that is to learn to live a meaningful life using digital technology and the Internet.

When the government imposed the movement control order on March 18, many of us were forced to stay at home. Office matters were done from remote places. Some call it working from home and now it has become a new normal.

Those who did not know or never heard of virtual meeting applications such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, started to learn more and took the initiative to use them more and more.

Whether we like it or not, digitalisation has given us a big transformation for year 2020.

Concurrently, some issues pertaining to cybersecurity and privacy, such as cyber-attacks, ransomware, spyware and anything that is related to enhancing information security take a greater leap and deeper interests among companies and individuals, as ignorance will invite dangers in so many ways.

Thus, seeing the importance of having a solid platform to educate the masses on cybersecurity and privacy needs, we took the initiative to introduce eSecurity and Privacy Channel or in short, ESPC.

When we create ESPC, our intention is to build a solid and collaborative infostructure that can help to disseminate important information related to cybersecurity and privacy in the form of creative online media news and journalism, broadcasting and publishing and, more importantly, to educate and alert as many people as possible on the dangers and risks caused by ignoring the need for practising cybersecurity and privacy in this digital era.

The idea behind naming this column ‘Cradle to Heaven’ is to signify the need for cybersecurity and privacy in our lives, and the requirement to educate ourselves on this important subject is an endless journey from the beginning of life until the end of it, and the learning should never stop.

Cybercrimes can happen right under our nose without us knowing it as sometimes it cannot be traced with the naked eye and oftentimes it is too late when we realised that we are victims. As digitalisation increases, cybercrimes are also rising in tandem exponentially; these include financial related crimes, child grooming and exploitation, human trafficking and prostitution, privacy breaches, hacking and stealing data.

The Chief Minister of Sarawak has stressed the importance of Sarawak’s migration towards digitalisation to gear up the digital economy.

He said the current aspect of development is based on digital technology which requires the state to migrate from conventional methods to digital.

Digitalisation has grown rapidly during this Covid-19 pandemic simultaneously all over the world. The restriction of movement and physical contact has forced people to use digital technology in their work, shopping and doing what is necessary for living and survival.

We hope this ESPC digital platform and eMarketplace, with a continuous learning concept, Cradle to Heaven, will educate more people to understand and be better prepared against all kinds of cybercrimes and cyber threats to ensure the security and privacy of ourselves, our families and fellow citizens are well guarded.

Till then, more from us next week.

•      Datuk Dr Mohd Abdul Karim is the founder of Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd, Serba Dinamik Sdn Bhd and Serba Dinamik Group Bhd

•      Assoc Prof Col(R) Datuk Dr Husin Jazri, senior vice president (Cybersecurity) and editor-in-chief, ESPC Media, also contributed to this column

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.