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Working From Home During the Pandemic, the Successful Response by Takaful Malaysia's CIO

Takaful Malaysia

Patrick Wong, Chief Information Officer of Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Berhad

Putting CyberSecurity First While Working From Home

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES, January 12, 2021 / -- The Covid-19 pandemic came as a shock to the world, forcing thousands of companies to change the way they operate amidst the lockdowns and quarantine. Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Keluarga Berhad as one of the leading Takaful Insurance operators in Malaysia was no exception even after 30 years in operation.

The mission of Takaful Malaysia is to provide insurance that exceeds customers’ expectations through operational excellence, technology-driven capabilities, product innovation, and performance-oriented culture while delivering superior shareholders’ value.

Like many other companies, Takaful Malaysia’s daily activities consisted of regular group meetings, communication and contact between employees, and socializing. However, changes had to be made to the company’s practices because of the rise of coronavirus.

Patrick Wong, Chief Information Officer of Takaful Malaysia, has been with the insurance company for 11 years. In addition to overseeing and managing the Information Technology Division of Takaful Malaysia—a team of 160 IT employees—Wong strives to align solutions implemented by the IT Division with the business’ mission, vision, and strategy. He has spent 27 years in the IT business, 24 of which were focusing on the insurance industry.

Wong stated that, while Takaful Malaysia has the capability to allow remote access but not to core systems running on AS400 platform which deem highly sensitive system. Once the Movement Control Order (lockdown) was announced, we were able to move everyone to work remotely with exception of core system access in less than two days.

One of the biggest challenges for Takaful Malaysia was its employees not having access to all of the company’s resources while working from home. Remotely accessing information has the inherent risk of exposing data on the internet, a chance Wong did not want to take even though there are several solution out there but not in compliance with the BNM Central Bank’s guideline.

For Wong, the two main concerns with transitioning to a work-from-home model were security and accessing the AS400 system. Teleworkr, a secure digital office space created by TekMonks, a Global Technology firm, helped Wong’s team to access AS400 securely for a fraction of the cost of other similar solutions.

Teleworkr has made Wong feel more secure while his employees are working remotely. With more than 500 Takaful Malaysia users now using Teleworkr, Wong says he can see a future of working from home after Covid-19.

Wong’s number one piece of advice to his counterparts in other organizations is to “work with partners you can trust” and, “most importantly, who honor their commitment. During the lockdown, UAB and TekMonks assisted us in implementing our customize work-from-Home solution which other companies weren’t able to do so. As such, we are now ready and fully complaint to allow our employees to work from anywhere.”
He prioritizes working with companies that genuinely want to grow alongside his company over those that are sales target driven. Both UAB and TekMonks fit perfectly with Takaful Malaysia’s Vision and Mission.

Komal Dureja
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