Malaysian Teams Excel in ASEAN Cyber Shield, Making History in 2023
BY: Michelle Liew
In a groundbreaking achievement, four teams from Malaysia showcased their prowess in the ASEAN Cyber Shield (ACS) competition, marking a historic moment for the country's cybersecurity landscape. The event, held from November 21 to 24, 2023, at the Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel in Jakarta, saw enthusiastic participation from across the ASEAN region. Jointly organized by the Korea Internet Security Agency (KISA) and the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (BSSN) of Indonesia, the ACS aimed to foster collaboration and expertise in the field of cybersecurity.
The ACS Event and Its Components
The ACS event was not just a competition but a comprehensive initiative under the auspices of the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF). Alongside the competition, the event included a cybersecurity conference, a digital forensics capacity-building workshop, meetings between Korean cybersecurity companies, a reruai exhibition, and a Hackathon. This four-day extravaganza served as a platform for participants to exchange knowledge, network, and showcase their skills in diverse cybersecurity domains.
Teams and Categories
The Malaysian contingent comprised four teams, each competing in different categories:
1. Choo Chi Siang (Tunku Abdul Rahman University Of Management and Technology, TARUMT)
2. Wang Teng Zheng (Tunku Abdul Rahman University Of Management and Technology, TARUMT)
3. Loh Kae Shyan (Asia Pacific University, APU)
4. Chua Jian Shen (Sunway School of Engineering and Technology, SET)
1. Damien Wong Shan Ming (Taylor's University)
2. Nik Amir Hakim Bin Nik Badrul Hisham (Universiti Tenaga Nasional, UNITEN)
3. Muhammad Firdaus Amran (Universiti Selangor, UNISEL)
4. Naavin Ravinthran (Monash University)
1. Wong Yik Han (F-Secure Sdn. Bhd.)
2. Muhammad Ali Akbar Bin Radzali (BAE Systems Digital Intelligence)
3. Lim Zhi Xuan (Sitecore Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.)
4. Mohd Shahril bin Zainol Abidin (Maybank Shared Services Sdn. Bhd.)
1. Lim Wei Xun (Intertek NTA)
2. Wesley Wong Kee Han (Privasec)
3. Tan Weiu Cheng (National University of Singapore, NUS)
4. Tan Kel Zin (National University of Singapore, NUS)
Team Malaysia Creates History
In a remarkable turn of events, all four Malaysian teams secured positions within the top 5 in their respective categories, earning them a spot in the final round. This remarkable achievement highlighted the exceptional talent and capabilities of Malaysian cybersecurity professionals.
Notably, "Team Cincai" demonstrated outstanding performance by clinching the third position in the Student category, earning them a well-deserved cash prize of US$5,000. Team Leader Choo Chi Siang expressed the team's excitement, emphasizing the uniqueness and complexity of the challenges faced during the Cyber Warzone: Capture The Flag Competition. This victory follows their first-place finish in the NACSA-organized event last July, further solidifying their expertise in handling real-world cybersecurity incidents.
Positive Impact on the Cybersecurity Industry
The Chief Executive of the National Cyber and Crypto Agency (NACSA), Ir. Dr. Megat Zuhairy Megat Tajuddin, highlighted the significance of initiatives like the ACS in advancing cybersecurity capacity and talent, particularly among the younger generation. In a recent statement, he emphasized that a career in cybersecurity not only presents extensive opportunities but also boasts high income potential.
NACSA's vision, as outlined by Dr. Megat Zuhairy, is to see an influx of young talents choosing cybersecurity as a career option. He pointed out that by 2025, Malaysia will require over 25,000 cybersecurity professionals, but currently, there are only approximately 13,000 active in the local market. The ACS initiative, therefore, serves as a catalyst to inspire the younger generation to pursue careers in cybersecurity and tap into the abundant opportunities available.
Strengthening ASEAN Collaboration
Beyond individual accomplishments, the participation of Malaysian teams in the ACS competition has contributed to fostering stronger ties between ASEAN countries. The collaborative nature of the event has allowed participants to enhance their skills, share experiences, and collectively address the escalating cyber threats prevalent in the region. In an era where cybersecurity is a global concern, such initiatives play a crucial role in building a united front against cyber threats.
In conclusion, Malaysia's outstanding performance in the ASEAN Cyber Shield 2023 not only reflects the nation's burgeoning cybersecurity talent but also underscores the importance of initiatives that promote collaboration, skill development, and the pursuit of excellence in the ever-evolving field of cybersecurity. As Malaysia looks towards a future marked by increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, events like the ACS serve as a beacon, guiding aspiring talents towards a promising and rewarding career in the realm of digital defence.