BlackBerry opens cybersecurity center of excellence in Malaysia

  • Marks major milestone in long-term deal establishing KL as a regional hub
  • Select opportunities for scholarships for women cybersecurity professionals

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim (8th from left) with Mary Ng (5th from right), Canada's Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development at the launch of the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.

BlackBerry Limited officially opened a Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCoE) in Kuala Lumpur today at a ceremony officiated by Prime Minister of Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, Canada's Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development, Mary Ng, and BlackBerry CEO, John Giamatteo.

Without disclosing the investment amount into the new CCoE or how many people will staff it, BlackBerry said it will deliver cybersecurity training and cyber threat intelligence to help Malaysia and partners in the region better prevent, deter, and respond to cyber threats facing governments and organizations in the Indo-Pacific region. The Malaysian government is said to be subscribing to some BlackBerry services though no information on the length of the subscription or cost has been revealed yet.

The company also announced its new BlackBerry Cybersecurity Curriculum available for the first time through the new facility, offering a wide range of globally recognized course offerings and certifications to help grow a skilled cybersecurity workforce and ecosystem in Malaysia and the region. These programs are designed to help Malaysia address a reported shortfall of some 12,000 cybersecurity professionals, as mentioned by Anwar in his remarks, and advance career opportunities for men and women in the region.

The opening of the CCoE and the BlackBerry Cybersecurity Curriculum launch marks another significant milestone in the landmark deal announced between the Malaysian Government and BlackBerry in November 2023 during the Apec gathering in San Francisco.

Anwar said, “Being more than a facility to help train and upskill our national cyber workforce, the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence has the potential to be an international destination to address emerging cyber threats. We can bring together Malaysian and Canadian universities, research institutions and skilled practitioners to share knowledge, threat intelligence and jointly develop methods and strategies to strengthen national and regional cyber-resilience.” Anwar also said that Malaysia will need 25,000 workers in cybersecurity by 2025.

The new center will provide Malaysians and others in the region with increased opportunities for professional networking, knowledge-sharing and common skills training, covering everything from cyber fundamentals to leadership and technical areas. The CCoE curriculum offers training courses on BlackBerry® cybersecurity products and services to upskill in areas like AI and Machine Learning, as well as highly-specialized courses delivered by the SANS Institute, Canada’s Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst and other internationally recognized certification partners. It also offers select opportunities for scholarships for women cybersecurity professionals in the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst’s CLIC training program, starting online in May, with further plans to augment existing university curricula with CCoE student education programs.

“In this digital age, the global need for innovative cyber security solutions continues to grow. I’m pleased that Canada’s expertise in this area is helping to create a safer cyberspace in Malaysia. Today’s announcement by BlackBerry is a clear example of how Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is supporting efforts to reduce and address security threats in the region,” said Ng.

BlackBerry CEO, Giamatteo concluded, “Building resilience to cyber-attacks requires a whole-of-society effort. The new Cybersecurity Center of Excellence stands as a testament to how nations and technology leaders can work together to address the dual challenge of cybercrime and skills shortages.  We thank the Governments of Malaysia and Canada, along with our industry partners, for joining us today, as we open this world-class facility and launch the BlackBerry Cybersecurity Curriculum to support Malaysia’s goal to train a highly skilled national cybersecurity workforce to a global standard.”

For more information on the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and the courses available, please visit here. For more information about applying for scholarships for women, visit here.


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