Collaboration sees new cyber hub for Malaysia

A partnership between Mastercard and Malaysian research university, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), has been established to build a Cyber Innovation Hub to strengthen the country’s cyber workforce and resilience.

The satellite UTM-Mastercard Cyber Innovation Hub will combine Mastercard’s cybersecurity and financial crime expertise with UTM’s education framework to provide skills training and courses to students and professionals drawing on industry insights of cybersecurity.

The two will also cooperate to conduct cybersecurity research and introduce projects that will be used to detect cyber threats, create tools and solutions and implement “privacy-enhancing technologies”.

“By exchanging knowledge and ideas, both UTM and Mastercard will be able to push the boundaries of innovation and create solutions that will make a difference in the world,” Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia, Dato Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin, said.

“Cybersecurity will become increasingly important in the coming years, and so it’s vital that our education institutions are able to offer high quality, industry-relevant training in this area. This partnership between UTM and Mastercard will be a major step forward in helping to grow the number of cybersecurity experts in Malaysia.”

“UTM is one of Malaysia’s leading institutions for advanced studies in technology, and so we’re very pleased to be working with Mastercard—a company for whom cybersecurity is paramount—to offer a specialized course that will be an asset to both the students, and to Malaysian society more broadly. This will also create opportunities for mid-career professionals switching industries as it gives them a competitive edge,” Prof. Datuk. Ir. Ts. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi bin Ismail, Vice-Chancellor, UTM said.

In 2021, there were 20,000 cybercrimes reported in Malaysia – up 3,000 from 2020 – that accounted for USD$126 million in losses, according to CyberSecurity Malaysia.

“As the world becomes increasingly connected through advances in emerging technologies, such as AI and quantum computing, so is the prevalence of cyber-attacks and threats,” Paul Trueman, Executive Vice President, Product Optimisation & Customer Advancement, Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard, said.

“Mastercard’s partnership with UTM will be pivotal in advancing skills and innovation to combat evolving cyber threats and helping to maintain a safe, secure digital ecosystem for everyone,”

“The partnership with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is a great example of how stakeholders from the private and public sectors can come together to create initiatives that nurture a pipeline of cybersecurity professionals for the country’s digital economy,” Safdar Khan, Division President, Southeast Asia, Mastercard, said.

“Mastercard looks forward to working with the university and the government to address the current talent shortage in the cybersecurity space and create career opportunities for people in Malaysia.”