Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of the Malaysian Digital Economic Corporation (MDEC), and Barry Roche, CEO of Protection Group International (PGI), today signed an agreement to collaborate to strengthen and develop cybersecurity capacity in Malaysia, and to work together to develop a cybersecurity academy in Malaysia. The collaboration was signed in the presence of UK and MDEC representatives, as well as leading Malaysian cyber security companies and entrepreneurs. The agreement was signed at PGI’s Cyber Academy in Bristol.
The new academy will be known as the UK-APAC Centre of Security Excellence and will see PGI and MDEC collaborate, generate and formulate awareness and strategies to regularly promote bilateral cybersecurity research and investment opportunities. PGI will provide strategic advice on the design of the Academy’s cybersecurity courses, infrastructure and resources. PGI will also draw on its curriculum of UK Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) Certified Training courses, materials and expert trainers to conduct pilot programmes and oversee the development of local trainers for continuous learning at the Academy.
PGI was opened in September 2014 by the Rt. Hon Karen Bradley MP, now the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to help tackle the global cyber skills shortage. Since then, PGI has trained over 1,000 cyber specialists from 21 countries, and developed tailored courses and programmes for government, police and armed forces clients, as well as senior management, mainstream IT specialists and entire workforces, from corporate to critical infrastructure clients. PGI’s immersive courses are powered by its training infrastructure, which offers students realistic scenarios on up to 3,600 virtual machines.
Welcoming the agreement, Yasmin said: “Seeing PGI’s workforce conversion training in action has been extremely interesting and insightful. Learning from their ability to convert IT staff into front line cyber security professionals will be pivotal to our cyber development. We are looking forward to harnessing PGI’s expertise to ensure that the UK-APAC Centre of Security Excellence can play a similar role in creating much-needed cyber security professionals in Malaysia and the broader Asia Pacific region.”
Barry Roche said: “Studies show that up to 2 million cyber security jobs will be unfilled by 2019 unless there is a step change in the numbers of new people entering the cyber security profession. PGI set up its Cyber Academy to play a leading role in identifying and training new entrants, reskilling those seeking to change careers into cyber, and continuing the professional development of the cyber security workforce. We are delighted to have demonstrated our expertise in these areas to MDEC and to offer our services in creating a new Academy for the Asia Pacific region.”