As hackers weave their deadly code with the aim of unleashing damaging and costly malware and viruses around the world, security experts at F-Secure labs in Finland and Malaysia work doubly hard to keep them at bay.
Malaysia is host of F-Secure’s Asia hub housed at Wisma F-Secure in Bangsar South. The facility is the base of 170 research and development engineers who work around the clock, actively tracking malware in real-time to keep the world safe from the latest in online threats.
Security engineers in Malaysia track and analyse hundreds of thousands of threats on a daily basis to prevent cybercriminals from making use of viruses and malware for profit. Once any new threat is detected, these engineers immediately craft and issue new patches which are deployed to customers around the globe.
In a recent interview, the charismatic Amit Nath, Head of Asia Pacific (Corporate Business), F-Secure, told Business Today that the company’s key focus in Malaysia was in the SMB sector. “To us, SMB is defined as being within the 5 to 1,000 user range. This makes Malaysia an even more desirable base for us, which is exactly why we have been investing heavily here,” said Nath.
According to SME Corp. Malaysia, 97% of business establishments in Malaysia are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These businesses are responsible for nearly 36% of the country’s GDP, 65% of the country’s employment, and nearly 18% of Malaysia’s exports.
Keeping businesses focused on what they’re good at
For more than 26 years, F-Secure has been a stalwart in the cybersecurity business, acting as the foremost line of defence on millions of computers around the world. Their products cover a range of security ranging from individual consumer protection all the way to major corporates.
F-Secure was also a pioneer of the “software as a service” (SaaS) business model in the industry and its large network of partners around the world and in Malaysia shows it as a market leader. By concentrating on delivering SaaS to SMBs, F-Secure ensures that businesses can concentrate on their core competencies rather than waste their resources on maintaining the technology to cope with every growing cyberthreats.
“The cybersecurity space is ever evolving and we are constantly seeing, even from day to day, new threats appearing. One example of this is ransomware, where cybercriminals make use of malware to lock user data. For businesses, this is not only a sure way to sustain financial damage, but even worse – reputational,” said Nath.
Nath emphasises the need for businesses to recognise that it is in their best interest to focus on what they do best, and leave the security in the hands of experts. “Software as a service provides customers with strongest level of protection at lower costs. Thanks to our world-class technology and support, for us, these solutions are easy to deploy,” he said.
What business absolutely should not do, is to do nothing. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report revealed that 74% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia experienced some form or other of cyberattacks over 2015 alone. “That is three out of every single SME here. So I urge every single business out there to take this very seriously and at the very least, ensure that your software is kept patched and up to date,” said Nath.
Building strength in Malaysia
As F-Secure continues to invest and grow in Malaysia, the company is on the constant lookout to increase the strength of its channels. “Our sales are all handled by our channel partners. To date, we have around 100 channel partners here but we are expecting tat number to double by the end of this year,” said Nath.
“However, it is important to understand that what we are working towards is not only in building channel partnerships, but to ensure that we look towards a viable and conducive ecosystem in channels,” he added.
“In time, we will also require more engineers and R&D people here,” added Nath. In order to sustain operations into the future, F-Secure partners with Malaysian institutes of higher learning, as well as various government agencies such as MDEC to ensure that a viable talent pool will be available.
With companies such as F-Secure building an entire regional business out of Malaysia, SMBs here can consider themselves lucky to have first-tier access to world-class cybersecurity services. While a plethora of freeware cybersecurity options are available, unlike at F-Secure. none will have the capability to invest in top of the line R&D services.
*Amit Nath has over 17 years of IT industry experience across different verticals like Sales, Marketing, Operations, Program Management and Management functions. He has a deep understanding of the IT security business backed by his unique ability to connect the dots from strategy to tactics. He is responsible for positioning F-Secure as a strong and channel–driven Security Company in Asia Pacific.