Mastercard, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia collaborate to build Cyber Innovation Hub

  • Aims to build a cyber-ready workforce, strengthen Malaysia’s cyber resilience
  • Parties to collaborate on joint research, cyber security development projects 

Prof. Dr. Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, VC, UTM; Abdul Razak Jaafar, Sec-Gen, Ministry of Higher Education; Mohamad Khaled Nordin, Minister of Higher Education, Safdar Khan, division president, Southeast Asia, Mastercard and Matthew Driver, EVP – Services, Mastercard.

Mastercard has announced a partnership with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) to build a cyber innovation hub. 

In a joint statement, the parties said the facility aims to build a cyber-ready workforce in Malaysia, expanding industry expertise while strengthening the country’s cyber resilience capabilities to future proof its digital economy. 

Under the partnership, the satellite UTM-Mastercard Cyber Innovation Hub will leverage Mastercard’s cybersecurity expertise alongside UTM’s education infrastructure to offer skills training, and courses on cybersecurity related fields to students and mid-career professionals. 

Additionally, Mastercard and UTM will collaborate on cybersecurity-related research and proof of concept projects to identify new cybersecurity threats, develop solutions and drive implementation of privacy-enhancing technologies in financial services. 

The partnership will also provide opportunities for joint research and development projects in specific areas of cyber security and analytics to drive innovation, they said.  

Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia, Mohamad Khaled Nordin, said, by exchanging knowledge and ideas, both UTM and Mastercard will be able to push the boundaries of innovation and create solutions that will make a difference in the world. 

“Cybersecurity will become increasingly important in the coming years, and so it’s vital that our education institutions are able to offer high quality, industry-relevant training in this area. This partnership between UTM and Mastercard will be a major step forward in helping to grow the number of cybersecurity experts in Malaysia,” he said 

Meanwhile, Dr. Ahmad Fauzi bin Ismail, vice-chancellor, UTM said, the university is one of Malaysia’s leading institutions for advanced studies in technology, and is therefore please to be working with Mastercard to offer a specialised course that will be an asset to both the students, and to Malaysian society more broadly.  “This will also create opportunities for mid-career professionals switching industries as it gives them a competitive edge."

CyberSecurity Malaysia reported 20,000 cyber-crimes in 2021, up from 17,000 cases in 2020, amounting to USD$126 million (RM560 million) in losses. 

The skills training and courses conducted at the UTM-Mastercard Cyber Innovation Hub will offer a combination of practical cybersecurity training and knowledge, as well as industry insights. Additionally, a joint Mastercard-UTM cybersecurity certificate will be issued upon completion. 

The parties said a special training programme, which will be announced soon, will be offered first to academics, thereby creating a pool of educators in cybersecurity.

Paul Trueman, executive vice president Product Optimization & Customer Advancement, Cyber and Intelligence, Mastercard said as the world becomes increasingly connected through advances in emerging technologies, such as AI and quantum computing, so is the prevalence of cyber-attacks and threats.  “Mastercard’s partnership with UTM will be pivotal in advancing skills and innovation to combat evolving Cyber threats and helping to maintain a safe, secure digital ecosystem for everyone.” 

Safdar Khan, division president, Southeast Asia, Mastercard, said the partnership with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia is a great example of how stakeholders from the private and public sectors can come together to create initiatives that nurture a pipeline of cybersecurity professionals for the country’s digital economy.  “Mastercard looks forward to working with the university and the government to address the current talent shortage in the cybersecurity space and create career opportunities for people in Malaysia,” he added. 


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