KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Italy is looking into greater cooperation with Malaysia on cyber security as it has become more crucial following the growth of digital transformation worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Italy’s Ambassador to Malaysia Cristiano Maggipinto highlighted three main areas of potential cooperation namely academic and research, maritime and protection of critical infrastructure.
“We know that Malaysia is a very important country in cyber security. For this reason we want to start cooperation with Malaysia,” he said in an interview with Bernama, here recently.
Maggipinto pointed out that collaboration in the academic field is being forged between the Italian National Interuniversity Consortium for Informatics (CINI) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) in research and training of personnel experts in cyber security.
In the maritime field, he stressed that cooperation in cyber security between the two countries is highly important because of the Straits of Melaka,one of the most important trade routes in the world.
“The security of maritime trade is essential for this part of the world as well as Italy and Europe,” he said.
On the protection of critical infrastructure, Maggipinto said cooperation is important particularly in telecommunication, transportation and health sectors.
“Because especially during this pandemic period with the increase of telemedicine, the protection of informatics system of the health organisation like hospitals is absolutely essential for our well-being,” he said.
Maggipinto said Italy’s Foreign Affairs Ministry together with Malaysia’s National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA) had organised a webinar on cyber security cooperation between the two countries on April 13 which also focused on the three main areas.
The webinar was attended among others by Italy’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Manlio Di Stefano and NACSA chief executive officer Mohd Shah Nuri Md Zain.
Following the webinar, a total of 19 business-to-business meetings between Italian and Malaysian companies were held online, which he said demonstrated the interest of cooperation between the two countries.
“So we do hope that this is the first step between Italy and Malaysia in this very sensitive and important sector and it is also a sign that cooperation between Italy and Malaysia is expanding to many other sectors, not only the traditional trade sectors,” he said.
Maggipinto stated that Italy is also paying close attention to Malaysia’s 5G programme as well as the establishment of the first 5G Cybersecurity Test Lab in this region by 2023.
“The Italian companies have already been informed about the 5G programme in Malaysia. We have read some days ago that the special vehicle company which will realise the 5G in Malaysia has announced that it will soon open a public tender for the realisation of 5G in Malaysia.
“We have already given news to the potential Italian companies so we hope to see Italian companies coming to Malaysia and participate in this programme and contributeto the realisation of 5G in Malaysia,” Maggipinto said.