Welcoming Address by Mr. Danial Mah Abdullah, at the Labuan International Finance Lecture Series 2018
“Barbarians at the Gate: Cybersecurity for Business Survival”

Welcome Remarks by
Mr Danial Mah Abdullah Director-General, Labuan FSA

26th July 2018
Dorsett Grand Labuan

Chairmen of Associations,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and very good morning to everyone.

1. It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to the Labuan International Finance Lecture Series 2018. I am delighted to see the management and staff from the Labuan IBFC industry attending this lecture and your interests in seeking knowledge. In fact, this is the main reason why Labuan FSA organizes the lecture series, that is for knowledgement enrichment.

2. I wish to extend a warm welcome to our guest-speaker, Mr. Lim Wei Chieh, from SWARMNETICS Singapore, to share his expertise and experience, and his lecture entitled “Barbarians at the Gate: Cybersecurity for Business Survival”.

3. You would have realized, in the past, the lecture series have always been organized in conjunction with the Labuan annual industry dinner. However, this year we decided to break from that tradition to spread out our programmes for the year rather than lumping them in one week, which can be quite stressful in organizing. We thought this would also make our industry players come to Labuan more often.

4. The lecture series have become a good platform for the industry players to engage and discuss current topical issues of mutual interests. Last year, the lecture was on digital innovation and Fintech in reshaping the financial business model. We heard about digital disruption, blockchains, cyrtos etc. And that more organisations are increasingly digitized and interlinked with the Internet of Things (IOT) to increase businesses and deliver customer services. While digitalisation is transforming the world, its nemesis, cyberattack has also proliferated in sophistication and prevalence, and in many instances may outstrip the ability to detect its existence.

5. According to the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report 2018, cyberattack is now the third most likely global risk, surging from previous sixth place. The growing number of cases of organizations and government exposed to high profile cyberattacks is increasing at an alarming rate and its impact can be catastrophic. In fact, there are so many malware or ransomware reports that we have lost count. For example, the WannaCry ransomware attack, which affected more than 200,000 victims across 150 countries, has affected industries in finance, telecommunication, energy, education, transportation, healthcare and the government. The losses were billions of dollars, making it one of the most damaging cyberattack incident. The impact of large-scale damage at organisation and individual level can cause chaos around the globe, and is very disruptive as well as costly to the economy. The International Money Fund (IMF) has estimated the annual potential losses from cyberattacks in the financial sector alone is about USD100 billion and in severe scenario, the amount could go up to USD350 billion.

6. On awareness level, although cyber-risk management is improving, it is still under-resourced in comparison to the increasing recovery cost. The average cost incurred by financial institutions in responding to cybercrime has increased more than 40% over the past three years, from USD12.97 million per company in 2014 to USD18.28 million in 2017.

Ladies and Gentlemen

7. Financial services business is a key target for cyberattack. With so many financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, trust companies, money brokers, etc in Labuan IBFC, we at Labuan FSA are ever concerned about cyberattacks on our institutions. Therefore, we all must always be vigilant to safeguard ourselves with new knowledge and tools to minimize or prevent attacks. Today’s lecture is about what they are and what we can learn to improve our barricades against cyberattacks. Its title reminds me of a book I read about Attila the Hun, the so-called barbarian who crushed the Roman defences and smashed everything in his path. Lets hope the defenses that we can learn to put up in the digital realm will be stronger than those of the Romans.

8. With that, I wish to end my remarks and invite our distinguished speaker to share his insights on global cyberattack risks, the walls and security controls towards creating a more resilient cyber environment for our businesses in Labuan IBFC. Please give a very warm welcome to Mr. Lim Wei Chieh, to present his lecture on “Barbarians at the Gate: Cybersecurity for Business Survival”.

Thank you.
Mr Danial Mah Abdullah
Director-General, Labuan FSA
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