Skip to main

​Malaysian Public's Concern About Cyber Security Issues Escalates – Unisys Security Index™ Finds

Malaysians' concern about ID theft and cyber security overtakes concern about physical threats; Consumers selective about sharing personal information with organisations via Internet of Things and big data analytics

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 July, 2017 – The Malaysian public's concern about security issues is the highest it has been in the last decade with concern about identity theft and cybersecurity overtaking previous concerns about physical threats – according to the 2017 Unisys Security Index™.

The overall Unisys Security Index for Malaysia is 215 on a scale of 0 to 300, up from 198 recorded in the last survey in 2014, and the highest index since the research was first conducted in Malaysia in 2008. Malaysia recorded the third highest level of concern of the 13 countries surveyed and is 42 points (24 percent) higher than the global average. 

The Unisys Security Index is a global study that gauges the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of issues related to national, personal, financial and Internet security. The study polled 1,000 adults in Malaysia during April 2017. The 13 countries surveyed are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, UK and U.S.

The top three areas of security concern for Malaysians are:

  • Bank Card Fraud: 88 percent of Malaysians are concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit/debit card details.
  • Identity Theft: 87 percent of Malaysians are concerned about unauthorised access to, or misuse of, personal information.
  • Viruses/Hacking: 77 percent of Malaysians are concerned about computer and Internet security in relation to viruses, unsolicited emails or hacking.

"The high concern about identity and cyber issues is a significant change from the last survey in 2014 when the top security concerns for Malaysians were personal safety, the threat of war or terrorism and natural disasters such an epidemics or floods. The previous concern about physical threats has shifted to concern about cyber and data-based threats," said Gaurav Gupta, director for security programs, Unisys Asia.

"Consumers' fears reflect the very real threat that their personal details may be stolen and sold on the dark web – whether they are tricked into providing their details themselves via phishing scams, or the organisations they deal with suffer data breaches. To build consumer trust, organisations that collect and use Malaysian consumer data need to show that they employ robust cyber resiliency frameworks to safeguard the data in their care from both malicious and accidental data breach threats," Mr Gupta said.

Dato' Dr. Haji Amirudin Abdul Wahab, CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia, the national cyber security specialist and technical agency said: "The Malaysian public's concern about identity and cyber security is part of the economic and national security challenges created by a world where we increasingly conduct our lives online, eroding national borders. But the good news is that being aware of the threats is the first step to securing ourselves against them. That is why CyberSecurity Malaysia provides a number of proactive services to educate the public about online safety, and encourage fast reporting and response to data breaches via the Cyber999 help centre." 

The research study also looks at the Malaysian public's willingness to share personal data with organisations via data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) – where devices can share information with other devices or systems via the Internet. The findings suggest that Malaysians want control over when they share their information. Key findings include:

  • The vast majority of Malaysians, 91 percent, support using a button on their smart phones or smartwatches to alert police to their location during emergencies. In contrast, only 37 percent of Malaysians support police being able to monitor fitness tracker location data at any time.
  • Approximately three in four Malaysians (77 percent) support medical devices such as pace makers or blood sugar sensors automatically transmitting significant changes to a patient's doctor. Yet only 45 percent of people support health insurers tracking fitness monitor data to determine premiums or reward healthy behaviour.
  • The top reasons given by Malaysians for not wanting to share data with organisations via IOT devices is that they don't want that organisation to have their data or that there is not a compelling enough reason to give the organisation such data.
  • Only 36 percent of Malaysians support using an app on their smartwatches or smart phones to make payments, citing concern about data security as the top reason for not supporting this. However, 69 percent of Malaysians support fingerprint scans to control who can access data on their smartwatch, and 58 percent support finger print scans to authorise payments by their smartwatch suggesting that this may be a way to overcome data security concerns.
  • Malaysians strongly support IoT and data analytics as a part of border security processes: 83 percent support police or border security staff wearing facial recognition body cameras to identify known criminals or terrorists; and 68 percent support border security officers in airports using data analytics to assess the travel history of passengers to determine if they are eligible for fast-track border clearance.
  • However, there is low support for other government agencies accessing personal spending data from credit card records and insurance policies. Only 44 percent of Malaysians support welfare agencies using such data to verify claims, and even fewer, 38 percent, support the tax office using this data verify tax returns.
  • There is also low support for banks analysing data collected about their customers from multiple sources to offer them targeted services and products – supported by only 39 percent of Malaysians.

"Consumers weigh up whether there is a compelling enough reason for an organisation to capture information about them – balancing privacy and the benefit being offered. The findings reveal law enforcement, national security and serious medical conditions are considered acceptable justification, but others are not. Government and commercial organisations need to take this into consideration and position their services accordingly if they want Malaysian consumers to take them up," said Mr Gupta. 

Download the full report of Malaysian results and infographics here.

About the Unisys Security Index

Unisys has conducted the Unisys Security Index – the only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally – since 2007 in order to provide an ongoing, statistically-robust measure of concern about security. The index is a calculated score out of 300 covering changing consumer attitudes over time across eight areas of security in four categories: national security and disaster/epidemic, in the National Security category; bankcard fraud and financial obligations, in the Financial Security category; viruses/hacking and online transactions, in the Internet Security category; and identity theft and personal safety, in the Personal Security category. The 2017 Unisys Security Index is based on online surveys conducted between 6-18 April, 2017 of nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, the U.S. and the UK. The margin of error at a country level is +/-3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence level, and 0.9 percent at a global level. For more information on the 2017 Unisys Security Index, visit www.unisyssecurityindex.com.my 

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that specialises in providing industry-focused solutions integrated with leading-edge security to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. Unisys offerings include security solutions, advanced data analytics, cloud and infrastructure services, application services and application and server software. For more information, visit: www.unisys.com.

About Unisys Asia Pacific

In Asia Pacific, Unisys delivers services and solutions to clients in more than 15 countries across the region. For more information visit: www.unisys.com.my.

Follow us on twitter @UnisysAPAC, LinkedIn, and in China on: www.weibo.com/unisyschina and WeChat Official Account: Unisys China.

Contact :

Gerald Gasper, The Spectrum Group
Mob: +65 98753011, gerald@geraldgasper.com

Claire Hosegood, Unisys Asia Pacific,
+61 411 253 663, claire.hosegood@au.unisys.com

Unisys and other Unisys products and services mentioned herein, as well as their respective logos, are trademarks or registered trademarks of Unisys Corporation. Any other brand or product referenced herein is acknowledged to be a trademark or registered trademark of its respective holder.