Preserving Data Sovereignty Must Be A Concerted Effort Involving Good Governance

[KUALA LUMPUR, 12 MAY 2022]: Huawei Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Huawei Malaysia), together with MyDIGITAL Corporation and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia organised a webinar, ‘Digital Age: Embracing Technology, Preserving Data Sovereignty’ today. The main objective of the webinar was to raise awareness among the government and its agencies, as well as the public about preserving data sovereignty while using digital technology, such as cloud, in the age of digital transformation. 

Government cloud services are a new development at the intersection of electronic government and cloud computing, which holds the promise of rendering government service delivery more effective and efficient. While cloud transformation and enhanced connectivity are some of the most significant focus areas to accelerate the nation’s digital economy building blocks, they have also triggered governments’ concern for data sovereignty and security. Hence, the webinar today addressed some of these issues including cyber security as a critical component in building the digital ecosystem for Malaysia.

Participants from the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia as well as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), MyDIGITAL Corporation, Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) as well as representatives from State Governments participated in the webinar, which was held both virtually and physically at the ISIS Malaysia headquarters. 

In his keynote address, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad bin Mentek highlighted that Malaysia is taking great efforts to protect its digital sovereignty, including introducing various policies and frameworks in order to enact controls and ensure organisations tighten their data security.

“As of 2021, about 100 countries have some form of existing data sovereignty laws. In Malaysia, the notion of data sovereignty is reflected in some of the existing legal and policy frameworks,” said Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad bin Mentek.

The Secretary-General further added, “All these policies encompass a comprehensive cross-sectoral framework to protect personal data in commercial transactions and play an important role in helping companies address data sovereignty issues, while at the same time ensuring information security, network reliability and integrity, and secure and resilient infrastructure.”

Delivering the welcome address, Chief Executive Officer of MyDIGITAL Corporation, Mr Fabian Bigar emphasised that threats can quickly outpace traditional approaches to data security, hence governments and organisations need to be proactive in creating and adapting systems to face these threats as the economy moves forward. “One of the thrusts in the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MDEB) is to build a trusted, secure, and ethical digital environment. Today, there is a much greater urgency for our regulatory environment to be anchored on trust and digital-native policies which reflect the world we live in,” he said.

Delivering the closing remarks, Chief Executive of NACSA, Mr Rahamzan Hashim said retaining control over our data and leading with a security-first mindset must always be a priority. He emphasised the need for everyone to work together to protect cyberspace and to ensure that all data flows are well protected and secure. 

“Seamless cooperation between industries and public sectors must be strengthened and treasured in order to address challenges and opportunities present in this new journey towards embracing the new data-driven technology and digital transformation” he added.

Among the panellists at the webinar included Shamsul Izhan Abdul Majid, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer MCMC, Konesh Kochhal, Director, Industry Ecosystem Engagements Huawei APAC, Raja Azrina Raja Othman, Chief Information Security Officer, Group Information Security, TM, Nur Hidayah Abdullah, ICT Consultant (Information Security) MAMPU and Dr. Moonyati Yatid, Senior Manager, Corporate Strategy & Research, Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation (MPRC).

According to Konesh Kochhal, Director, Industry Ecosystem Engagements Huawei APAC, having well-defined policies and specific planned steps are paramount to improving incident response and recovery in the future. Hence, he pointed out, this webinar is a crucial step for different governing authorities and government agencies to discuss and understand their individual and collective roles and functions in preserving data sovereignty to prepare for untoward incidents in the future.

He added, “Malaysia is moving firmly into the cloud environment, with the government driving it through a cloud first policy. Huawei Malaysia will continue to strengthen collaboration with dedicated teams, to provide our expertise and consulting services, such as planning for cloud infrastructure, application cloudification, data enablement, and digital transformation to help the government fulfil and complete the overarching ambitions of digital transformation. These services help establish a clear plan and will lead the nation into the future ready digital economy.”

Huawei, the leading global provider of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, has more than 30 years of technical experience and currently has more than 220 types of cloud services.Based on Huawei’s own experience with security compliance, global network infrastructure capabilities, HUAWEI CLOUD has developed a solution covering security compliance, application acceleration, intelligent localisation, and enterprise services.

In Malaysia, Huawei is working with Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM), on one of the Malaysian-owned Cloud and AI infrastructure and services to enterprises and government institutions that ensures data locality and sovereignty

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s