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27 September 2021
According to a new poll, 73% of Malaysian businesses believe they will face a data breach affecting consumer data in the next 12 months, according to a global cybersecurity company.
The difference between respondents' cybersecurity preparation and their risk of being attacked is measured in the findings.
The CRI polled almost 3,600 firms of all sizes and industries in Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, and Latin America in the first half of 2021.
"Intellectual Property (IP) not only forms the integral business asset of a company but at the same time provides companies with a competitive edge over other players in the market," says Jyeshta Mahendran, Partner, Shearn Delamore & Co in Malaysia. "Protecting and safeguarding IP thus become vital in preserving the long term continuity of a business. Any form of cyber security breach involving theft of IP can severely affect the image and value of a business, not to mention the loss of revenue and damage to customer relationships. Whilst the era of digitalisation has brought about advancement in the digitalisation of data in the form of storage, processing and dissemination of data, the heavy reliance of digitalisation also presents its inherent risks. An organisation’s proprietary know-how, trade secrets, drawings, plans and prototypes are typically stored in digital or electronic devices. Such IP rights are at risk of being attacked if there is lack of vigilance and if strong security measures are not put in place."
She says that IP which is misappropriated as a result of a cyber attack can be used by cybercriminals to gain unfair advantage which can dilute the competitive advantage that the company had acquired at the point of creation of their IP.
"Such stolen IP rights can be modified and improvised or even sold to competitors in order to gain commercial advantage," she says. "What is also daunting when faced with a cyber threat is the disclosure of a design or an invention if the drawings or prototypes of a product is disclosed to the public as this can result in the loss of novelty of IP rights which could have been eligible for registration at the first instance. Such breaches are hence detrimental as they can result in loss of customer confidence, devaluation of the company’s image and reputation and affect the differentiation factor that the company had aimed to achieve with its IP rights."
In protecting the digital footprints in Malaysia, her colleague, Sim Sook Eng, Principal Associate, Shearn Delamore & Co in Malaysia, says that the existing provisions under the Personal Data Protection Act 2010, Copyright Act 1987, Computer Crimes Act 1997 and Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 tied in with structured monitoring and compliance of security protocols can provide some level of protection of digital footprints.
"In addition, employing trained cyber security workforce with forensic investigation skills can be instrumental in creating a cyber-resilient environment," she says. "Undoubtedly, the full potential of even the most sophisticated form of security measures is defeated without identifying the core data of the company which may be vulnerable to attack, ensuring ongoing vigilance, having a strong level of preparedness and appreciating the risks posed by a cyber threat."
Excel V. Dyquiangco