Weathering the Cybercrime Wave

June 23, 2020

“Cybercriminals have already been on the go since the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced COVID-19 as a pandemic. These cybercriminals are exploiting public fear and the pandemic’s uncertainty to map out their phishing attacks. Currently, we are seeing various kinds of phishing e-mails with malware titled ‘Covid-19 Cure’ and ‘Latest Covid-19 alert’ entrapping general computer users,” shared cyber security expert, Mr. Fong Choong-Fook, Chief Executive Officer of LE Global Services Sdn Bhd (LGMS) about the impact of COVID-19 towards the spike in cybercrimes happening lately.

Mr. Shanmuga Sundram, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Australian Degree Programs explained that incorporating cybersecurity as a module of INTI’s Diploma in Computer Science programme would help students identify and appreciate the applicability of cybersecurity in various aspects of their studies.

As we move on with our daily routines and try to overcome the pandemic in a slow and steady manner, we have to keep in mind the fact that COVID-19 has significantly changed the day to day processes for most of the global workforce, impacting how businesses are conducted and how communications between employers and employees take place to resolve any concerns and matters.

Mr. Fong also shared, “Employees working remotely must be aware of the vulnerabilities from cyber threats during this period. In order to prevent becoming a victim, every individual should regularly ensure their connections are secured, be cautious of phishing emails and ensure all software and operating systems are up to date with the latest system patches.”

Working from home has become the new norm and the utilisation of home networks has spiked like never before. Most organisations are continuing to leverage technologies for staff to work remotely and in some conditions, on unsecured home or public networks. Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Zoom and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have come to rescue during this difficult time .

As the use of these platforms continues globally, it is certain that cybercrime threats will be amplified. But most organisations are taking extra precautionary measures to overcome the intelligent maneuvers of cybercriminals.

An illustration of INTI’s recently launched Diploma in Computer Science programme.

“Even smaller organisations are now starting to take cybersecurity more seriously compared to few years ago. We are now seeing an uptrend in new investments such as purchasing softwares and hardwares in relation to cybersecurity,” answered Mr. Fong when asked about initiatives companies are taking to curb cybercrime activities.

Mr. Fong added, “The pandemic has definitely accelerated the importance of cybersecurity. Organisations should continuously alert their employees on the risk of exposure, making them aware of how to identify cybersecurity risks and measures to take to respond, prevent, detect and report incidents when they happen.”

INTI International University & Colleges has collaborated with leading organisations to create an enriching experience for students through INTI’s recently launched Diploma in Computer Science (DCS) programme. LGMS, the largest specialized penetration testing firm in Malaysia, is one such industry partner who is collaborating with INTI to offer industry insights to students of the diploma programme.

“Through the module on cybersecurity that is part of INTI’s DCS programme, students would be able to identify and appreciate the applicability of cybersecurity in various aspects of their studies, as well as in real life as it covers a wide spectrum of information technologies. Students will also be able to identify the importance of cybersecurity in this programme,” said Mr. Shanmuga Sundram, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Australian Degree Programs about the incorporation of the cybersecurity module into the DCS programme.

INTI has also collaborated with Swinburne University of Technology to further offer students, Bachelor of Computer Science with a major in Cybersecurity this July onwards. Mr. Shan further explained, “Cybersecurity’s most important goal is the protection of information especially now when the COVID-19 pandemic poses unprecedented challenges. It includes the aspects of keeping the networks that hold both personal and business information secure. Because cybersecurity encompasses the protection of a variety of digital assets, including data and information, systems, intellectual property and so forth, cybersecurity as an industry offers many different jobs and career paths such as security analyst, security software developer, cryptographer, security consultant, and cryptanalyst.”

Dr. Jane Lim, Chief Executive of INTI International College Subang shared, “Cybersecurity has become a part of the daily lives of corporations, governments, and, now with many working from home, a part of our home lives. The micro-credentialled modules that have been included into the Diploma in Computer Science programme will provide students early training for certifications in specialised fields such as cybersecurity. Students will be able to utilize this opportunity to look at education differently as these modules will expose them to rapidly changing industry trends. Amidst these challenging times, we are constantly working towards enabling education to be a continuous, experiential, and regularized process.”