The National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA), in collaboration with Alpine Integrated Solution Sdn Bhd, organized the Cyber Defense & Security Exhibition and Conference (CYDES) 2021. The event was held from 28th to 30th June 2021 in a fully virtual format. CYDES 2021 complements the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy (MCSS) 2020-2024 launched by YAB Prime Minister on 12 October 2020 by converging both local and international experts, solutions, and talents in cybersecurity to create a unified approach in executing the MCSS.
CYDES 2021 was officiated by YAB Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd Yassin, Prime Minister of Malaysia on the 28th of June. CYDES was a showcase of advanced expertise, solutions, and technologies for combating current and future cyber threats, with a focus on the government, law enforcement, and military, as well as the business community and academics, with the common goal of protecting each nation’s critical infrastructure network.
This will serve as a strategic link between the Malaysian government and the cybersecurity industry in order to achieve the MCSS’s aspirations, objectives, and goals. The organization of this world-class exhibition and conference will demonstrate Malaysia’s capability as a leader in Southeast Asia while also increasing foreign investor confidence.
Furthermore, this platform for the public-private partnership may also increase investments by highlighting opportunities in the cybersecurity and defense industries, thus creating spin-off benefits for the country’s economy. With an estimated figure of 2500 visitors, CYDES 2021, the world’s first integrated cyber defense, cybersecurity, and emerging technology event for the global community, will see attendees from government officials, military, law enforcement, thought leaders, and private sectors who specialize in cybersecurity.
YBhg. Datuk Rodzi bin Md Saad, Deputy Director General of National Security (Security Management), National Security Council in his Opening Speech share that the Government is steadfastly committed to fostering global collaboration with other states and international entities in securing the cyberspace will be an important agenda of their event. Quoted from his speech “No country can deal with cyber security issues alone as cyber security threats are borderless. Therefore, to cover all areas of cyber security and to focus on effective implementations, the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy 2020-2024 was launched in October 2020. We assure you that the strategy is a comprehensive one, to mitigate the evolving cyber threats and challenges through an integrated and effective model of public-private partnership (PPP). And therefore, all the five pillars’ strategies are integrated and reflected in CYDES 2021. It is hopefully, CYDES 2021 will contribute to vast and a unique experience, and perhaps, we could initiate effective cooperation to build upon what we have set in motion. We hope to explore closer engagement and networking in the endeavor of ensuring safer and more secured cyberspace.”
CYDES 2021 also converged regional leaders comprising heads of National Cyber Security Agencies, while in-country VIPs include the members of cabinets, state & chief ministers as well as C-suite of key agencies in national defense and security, banking and finance, information and communications, energy, transportation, water, health services, government, emergency services, food and agriculture, trade, industry, and economy sectors.
Reflecting its global nature, CYDES 2021 featured participations ranging from Australia, Brunei, Estonia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These countries were represented by panel speakers and key exhibitors and sponsors such as BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, BeyondTrust, Ericsson, FireEye, Fortinet, Heitech Padu, Huawei, Kaspersky, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, Primary Guard x Cloudflare, Splunk, System Consultancy Services (SCS), and TM ONE among many others.
Happening alongside the exhibition are 2 specially curated conferences by NACSA. The ASEAN Cyber Security Forum, running over 3 days will feature high level, prominent experts from around the globe delivering keynote addresses covering topics on the ASEAN’s Plan of Action in the Implementation of Norms of Responsible States Behavior in Cyberspace, Cyber Defense & Diplomacy and Cyber Security Local Industries.
The Senior Minister of Defense Malaysia, YB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob who officiated the ASEAN Cyber Security Forum in his speech mentioned “Malaysian Government has identified cyber security as one of the focus areas under our Digital Economy Blueprint. It shows that cyber security plays a significant role to sustain the digital economic growth as well as to ensure that we can continue to have a secured, trusted, and reliable cyber space to foster economic prosperity and well-being of the citizen. No nations or economies can remain in silo to combat cyber threats. Global collaborations and partnerships, including information and knowledge sharing, as well as international cooperation and enforcement, are crucial to effectively counter evolving cyber threats.”
Additionally, The National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) also organized the Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy (MCSS) Forum discussing 12 tracks relevant to the Critical National Information Infrastructure including 5G security, Aviation, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Security, Coordination to Counter Cybercrime, Cybersecurity Awareness, Darkweb, Digital Transformation, Local Industry, Maritime, Ransomware and Zero Trust. MCSS Forum took place on the second and third day of CYDES 2021.
The host of the event NACSA shared that it was not an easy feat to organize CYDES. 2 years of intense work were put in coupled with the continuous challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. After being rescheduled twice due to the pandemic situation, CYDES 2021 which was initially planned to be a hybrid event, was successfully conducted as a fully virtual event on a specially created live platform.
Ir. Md Shah Nuri bin Md Zain, the Chief Executive of NACSA shared that NACSA was looking forward to using this global event as a critical platform to congregate with counterparts from ASEAN member states fraternity, as well as dialogue partners to continue deliberations face to face specifically on the 11 Norms implementation and adoption.
In his quote he shared “However, the COVID-19 situation turns for the worse in the 1st quarter of this year, forcing us to reimagine how we would still utilize this platform to carry out these vital discussions and deliberations. We decided that these deliberations cannot and must not be put on hold and that it is key to keep our discussions and engagements going on a consistent basis. When we curated CYDES with Alpine, one of its key purposes was to serve as a platform for regional engagements. So, this virtual networking was an excellent substitute of what was supposed to be physical.”
The inaugural CYDES which is the first of its kind for Malaysia; is also the first of its kind in the region especially concerning G2B. The event combined 63 speakers from around the globe who took part in 6 Panel Sessions for ASEAN Cyber Security Forums and 12 Tracks Sessions for Malaysia Cyber Security Strategy Forum, 100 Exhibitors from 10 Countries, 19 Tech Talk Presentations at the Cyber Podium and converge 2500 trade visitors.
NACSA as the host, extended deepest and heartiest appreciation and gratitude to all the ASEAN member state, keynote speakers, panelists, moderators, the delegates, exhibitors and sponsors, visitors, government officials, strategic partners, members of the media and all secretariat and organizing committees for their participation, support, and lending hand in making the inaugural CYDES 2021 a major success!
For more information on CYDES 2021, visit www.cydes.my or @cydesmy on all social media platforms.