BY JOHAN FERNANDEZ
May 7, 2006
IMPACT is its name, and making an impact in the battle against
cyber-terrorism is its mission. Unveiled in Austin, Texas, the
Malaysian initiative seeks to bring together governments and the
international private sector to deal with increasing threats in
Known as the "International multilateral partnership against
cyber-terrorism" or "IMPACT" it will serve as a pioneer platform to
allow governments of the world to exchange notes and ideas, as well as
to facilitate the sharing of skills and best practices, with the
ultimate objective of combating these constantly evolving threats.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who made this
announcement at the closing ceremony of the 15th World Congress on IT
(WCIT 2006) here on Friday said that IMPACT was not just a Malaysian
"IMPACT is conceived as a partnership - between governments, as well
as between governments of the world and the international private
"Given that some of the best skills and technologies in cyber-security
reside in the private sector, it is only natural that all governments
need to work closely with businesses to effectively combat
cyber-terrorism," he said.
He said the potential to wreak havoc and cause disruption to people,
firms, governments and entire global systems have increased as the
world became more globalised and dependent on information and
communications technology (ICT).
"Today, governments across the world must be prepared to deal with
threats in cyberspace.
"Even if one were to exclude the risks to life and limb, the economic
loss caused by the disruption of a cyber-attack can be truly severe -
for example, a nationwide blackout, collapse of trading systems or
perhaps the crippling of a central bank cheque clearing system," he
He said the threats posed by cyber-terrorism were something that
modern societies and their governments could no longer ignore.
"No country can manage this problem in isolation and to effectively
overcome this global threat and it is imperative that countries
throughout the world work in concert to wipe out this danger."
IMPACT has got off to a good start with some leading names lending
their support. "America's Symantec Corporation, Japan's Trend Micro,
and Russia's KaperskyLlab have already agreed to be key partners and
to serve on IMPACT's international advisory board to be established
soon," he said.
The Prime Minister said he was encouraged that the private sector,
globally, has given its strong support and expected more of such
world-class companies following suit.
For a start, IMPACT would focus its activities in three key areas -
security certification, research and development; as well as
establishing a global emergency response centre.
IMPACT will be sited in Cyberjaya, at the heart of "MSC Malaysia,"
with access to world-class ICT infrastructure.
"I am confident that IMPACT, with the co-operation of governments and
the global private sector, will be able to find effective solutions to
the global threat of cyber-terrorism," Abdullah said.
"I would like to invite all governments and the global private sector
to partner with us in this worthy cause," he added.
On the WCIT, the Prime Minister said Malaysia was honoured and excited
about hosting the next congress in 2008.
"Apart from expanding our partnerships with global technology leaders,
we see our hosting of WCIT 2008 as an opportunity to stimulate further
discussion on technology and technology-related policy development,"
He also thanked former US secretary of state Colin Powell, who was one
of the keynote speakers on Friday, for his kind words about Malaysia.
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