Our journey in safeguarding Malaysia’s cyberspace began on January 13, 1997, with the establishment of the Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team, or MyCERT. Formed as a unit under MIMOS Berhad, MyCERT’s primary mission was to address and respond to computer security incidents, providing a crucial line of defense in the early days of the internet in Malaysia. MIMOS Berhad, a leading government research and development agency in ICT, provided the perfect incubator for MyCERT’s foundational activities.

As the digital landscape rapidly evolved, so too did the threats and challenges. Recognizing the growing need for a more comprehensive approach to ICT security, the National Information Technology Council (NITC) of Malaysia, chaired by the Prime Minister, proposed the creation of a specialized agency to tackle emerging ICT security issues. This proposal, put forth on January 24, 1998, marked a significant turning point in Malaysia’s cybersecurity strategy.

In response to the NITC’s proposal, the National ICT Security and Emergency Response Centre (NISER) was established in 2001 as a dedicated department within MIMOS Berhad. This move brought MyCERT under the umbrella of NISER, expanding its capabilities and resources to better address the complex security challenges of the digital age.

The strategic importance of NISER’s mission was further underscored during a Cabinet Meeting on September 28, 2005. The meeting, through the Joint Cabinet Notes by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), agreed on the necessity of establishing NISER as a National Body to monitor and enhance the nation’s e-security infrastructure. This decision led to NISER’s evolution into a separate entity, spinning off from MIMOS Berhad to become a Company Limited-by-Guarantee, incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.

On March 30, 2007, NISER was officially registered as a not-for-profit, Company Limited-by-Guarantee under the supervision of MOSTI. This restructuring was crucial in providing NISER with the independence and flexibility needed to effectively oversee and respond to national cybersecurity threats.

The mandate of NISER expanded significantly following the NITC Meeting No. 1/2006, which decided to implement the National Cyber Security Policy (NCSP). Led by MOSTI, the NCSP aimed to fortify Malaysia’s cybersecurity posture on a national scale. NISER was tasked with providing the technical support essential for the implementation of this ambitious policy. Reflecting its broadened scope and responsibilities, NISER was rebranded to CyberSecurity Malaysia, a name that encapsulates its comprehensive role in protecting Malaysia’s cyberspace.

The transformation of NISER into CyberSecurity Malaysia was officially commemorated on August 20, 2007, when the Prime Minister of Malaysia officiated the newly named entity and launched its new logo. This event marked the beginning of a new era in national cybersecurity, with CyberSecurity Malaysia positioned as the central body responsible for safeguarding the nation’s digital infrastructure.

From its inception as MyCERT, through its evolution into NISER, and its eventual rebranding as CyberSecurity Malaysia, the journey of this organization reflects Malaysia’s proactive and adaptive approach to cybersecurity. Today, CyberSecurity Malaysia continues to play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and security of Malaysia’s digital ecosystem, standing as a testament to the nation’s commitment to combating cyber threats and fostering a secure digital environment for all.

By 9M2PJU

An amateur radio operator, military veteran, jack of all trades and master of none.

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