It's time to conquer the cyberspace [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) FREDERICK the Great, King of Prussia, once said the greatest and the noblest pleasure which we have in this world is to discover new truths, and the next is to shake off old prejudices.
This was the most difficult and probably also the easiest thing I may have done since the advent of the Internet. The easiest was to discover the potential and the myriad of opportunities in cyberspace, which is the new truth of the emerging virtual world of the 21st century.
The difficult part was, and continues to be, the challenge to shake off old as well as new prejudices about how we define information confidentiality and privacy, and how we can optimise as well as benefit from the cyberspace.
The Internet permeates every aspect of modern trade, businesses and lifestyles. The potential is beyond one's imagination but what comes with it are the grave cyber-security concerns that inhibit its acceptance as an effective tool for innovation and growth.
As beneficiaries, users or businesses must show confidence and believe that with our National Cyber Security Policy in place, information can be safely relayed and commerce will not be compromised.
With an objective to instil such confidence and create a culture of security, Cyber Security Malaysia will be organising the fourth Cyber Security Malaysia Awards, Conference and Exhibition 2013 (CSM- ACE 2013).
To be held on November 13-14 in Kuala Lumpur, the event is aptly themed "Securing Cyberspace for Economic Growth".
More than 300 delegates and experts are expected to participate in this unique event to share latest cyber security trends; recognise contributions of individuals and organisations in the field of cyber security; and showcase trade investment opportunities by industry players.
The CSM-ACE also aims to inculcate and nurture cyber security awareness among users by educating and offering support for the Malaysian industry, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to be self-reliant in terms of technology and human resources. As a strong advocate of innovation and technology, for me this is undoubtedly an event not to be missed by our SMEs.
The SMEs should be in the forefront of adopting new technology, especially ICT platforms, and optimising cyberspace opportunities available.
According to Nielson and Paypal Analysis 2011 Report, the online commerce market size is gauged at RM3.65 billion in 2013, and is estimated to increase to RM5.76 billion by 2015.
Similarly, there will be more than 21 million Internet users in Malaysia by 2016. These projections reflect the potential that can be tapped by 49 per cent of the SMEs that are in wholesale and trading as well as manufacturing.
The ACCCIM 2012 SME Survey indicates that 72 per cent of these SMEs are not doing any form of e-commerce.
The SME Census 2011 conducted by the Department of Statistics Malaysia had reported that only 27 per cent of our SMEs used ICT in their business operations, out of which 67 per cent were using the Internet. This further reinforces the fact that there is a dire need for SMEs to increase their business efficiencies and productivity through ICT.
The good news is that Malaysia has developed a positive reputation in the cyber security industry in providing the global solutions. Around 10 per cent of local IT revenue and 30 per cent of export IT revenues are derived from cyber security products and services.
Furthermore, Malaysia has good international cyber security credibility, but is yet to fully capitalise on the lucrative business opportunities through innovative initiatives, such as developing capability for cyber security enforcement through compliance with international standards in areas like e-commerce. SMEs can be the source as well as the beneficiary to such initiatives.
In keeping with the vision and objectives of the government's Digital Transformation Programme, better known as Digital Malaysia, the role of cyber security is paramount to support the nation's move towards a knowledge-based economy (k-economy).
So, to all SMEs out there, grab this opportunity to participate in the CSM-ACE 2013. It offers a wealth of invaluable benefits. Tap on the cyber security's important role as a new source of growth towards transforming your competitiveness on the global platform; gain insights through presentations from various industry experts and panel discussion; network with similar set-ups and expand knowledge of interests; and take in new information on latest trends, topics and ideas for much renewed views on cyber security to further develop your business models.
For more information on CSM-ACE 2013, log on to www.csm-ace.my. Registration closes on Friday.
* Datuk Hafsah Hashim is the chief executive officer of Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation Malaysia (SME Corp Malaysia)
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