KUALA LUMPUR, 19 July 2018 – A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) announced on 18 July 2018 under the strategic collaboration between government agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and Axiata Group Berhad (Axiata) to further boost the nation’s cybersecurity industry by strengthening both talent development as well as futureproofing innovation. This partnership will benefit institutes of higher learnings (IHLs), the start-ups community and government agencies.
The public-private partnership was established due to the fast-growing opportunities for Malaysians that arise from the burgeoning digital economy.
Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Chief Operating Officer of MDEC, commented: “Strengthening the cybersecurity industry is crucial for futureproofing Malaysia’s Digital Economy. It is interesting to note that Malaysia is one of the top 3 ASEAN countries that are expected to contribute or make up 75% of cybersecurity services market share by the year 2025. Undoubtfully, there is a huge opportunity to capture a significant portion of the export market across ASEAN which is expected to be worth RM10 billion by the year 2021.”
“It is essential to drive partnerships especially with one of the leading telecommunications groups in Asia, Axiata. The organisation’s 350 million customers make it a good testbed to futureproof cybersecurity innovation,” she added.
Tan Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, President & Group Chief Executive Officer of Axiata, said, “Axiata has always had a longstanding partnership and mutual cooperation with MDEC. This MoU today stresses our commitment to work with MDEC to drive the transformation of our country into a world leader in cybersecurity and digital resiliency. Axiata will leverage on our regional knowledge-pool of experts, technologists and innovators to impact national policies, build capacity, develop local talents, share solutions, exchange information and build on our experiences to make a meaningful difference in our markets.”
He also mentioned that Axiata has always been committed to talent development and will support MDEC’s initiatives in creating future cybersecurity talents through industrial and upskilling internships as well as provide mentorships in developing cybersecurity solutions.
To become a high-income nation, Malaysia is determined to maintain the momentum of the nation’s strong economic growth with a focus on the digital economy, which has been growing by leaps and bounds, contributing approximately 18.2 % to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016.
Malaysia is one of the top three ASEAN countries that is expected to contribute 75% to the cybersecurity services’ market share by the year 2025.
Due the complexity of fast evolving threats to organisation, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts Malaysia’s security services market will grow from RM1 billion in 2016 to RM 2.5 billion by 2021 at a CAGR of 21.1%. The regional opportunity across South East Asia (SEA) for the security services market is expected to reach RM 10 billion by 2021 at CAGR 22.28%.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation or MDEC is the lead agency in driving the digital economy in Malaysia under the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia. Since its inception 22 years ago, MDEC’s mission is to develop the nation’s digital economy. MDEC’s implementation efforts are centred on driving investments, building local tech champions, catalysing digital innovation ecosystems and propagating digital inclusivity.
MDEC is also responsible to ensure that Malaysia plays an integral part in developing and nurturing talent to drive digital innovation around the world, while attracting participation from global ICT companies to invest and develop cutting edge digital and creative solutions in the country.
Axiata is one of the leading telecommunications groups in Asia with approximately 350 million customers and with a presence in 13 countries. In pursuit of its vision to be the New Generation Digital Champion by 2021, the Group has transformed itself from a holding entity with a portfolio of pure-play mobile assets into a Triple Core Strategy driven business with the focus on Digital Telco, Digital Businesses and Infrastructure.
Within ASEAN and South Asia, Axiata has controlling stakes in market-leading mobile and fixed operators in the region including ‘Celcom’ in Malaysia, ‘XL’ in Indonesia, ‘Dialog’ in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi’ in Bangladesh, ‘Smart’ in Cambodia and 'Ncell' in Nepal. The Group also holds strategic interests in ‘Idea’ in India and ‘M1’ in Singapore. Axiata is in the cusp of transforming its mobile operations into Digital Telcos through digitisation and convergence.
‘edotco’, the Group’s infrastructure company, operates in six countries to deliver telecommunications infrastructure services, amassing approximately 27,500 towers. Presently the 12th largest independent tower companies globally, it aims to be one of the top regional telecommunications tower companies and is committed to responsible and sustainable business operations.
Axiata Digital and Axiata Business Services are the digital businesses arms of the Group. Together, these businesses are focused on capturing the rapid growth in digital financial services (‘Boost’), digital advertising (‘ada’), enterprise solutions/IoT (‘Xpand’) and platform services (‘APIgate’) with user access to global markets.
As a committed and long-term investor, Axiata provides employment to 25,000 people within its operations. In line with its sustainability goals, the Group actively supports and drives young talent development; disaster response and recovery; as well as green initiatives. Axiata’s broader goal Advancing Asia pieces together the best in the region in terms of innovation, connectivity and talent.
How the programme will work
Under the agreement, Axiata will focus on the cybersecurity programme identified by MDEC which is segregated into four areas namely Development of Cybersecurity Capacity, Mentoring Program for Cybersecurity Innovation, Local Solution – Piloting Adoption and Community Experience Exchange.
Development of Cybersecurity Capacity
The two main objectives are to facilitate critical cybersecurity skillsets and to foster increased cybersecurity innovation for the telecommunications industry.
Axiata will focus on supporting capability building through cybersecurity student internship mentoring programmes at MDEC Premier Digital Tech Institutes of Higher Learning. This will produce “industry-ready” talents, which will ultimately raise the nation’s cybersecurity preparedness.
Mentoring Program for Cybersecurity Innovation
Axiata will be providing professional mentorship to entrepreneurs in developing cybersecurity solutions. Axiata will be the contributor in the telecommunication sector where sharing of domain knowledge will take place and guidance will be given to the potential start-ups/entrepreneurs.
Local Solution – Piloting Adoption
In developing and promoting the local solutions that can bridge the industry challenges. Axiata will support the pilot of solutions to futureproof cybersecurity solutions. IDC reported that the local cybersecurity services companies' capabilities will expand to the ASEAN cybersecurity services market, estimated to be worth USD $2.6B by 2021(GAGR 22.28 %). The goal is to ultimately help in the adoption of local solutions and possibility to penetrate export market across ASEAN.
Community Experience Exchange
The Community Experience Exchange via roundtable discussions will be involving CISOs and CIOs of industry to help MDEC gauge and understand cybersecurity issues and challenge. The interaction platform will encourage engagement of cybersecurity community consisting of sector regulators, industry players, entrepreneurs, and academician doing their sharing on their respective sectors with Axiata one of the representatives from elecommunication industry.