From: Times of Oman

Muscat: The role of regional cooperation is pivotal in promoting and ensuring cyber security, experts opined unanimously, at a conference. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Computer Emergency Response Team’s  annual conference called for regional alliances for possible partnerships and collaborations.

The conference was hosted by the Information Technology Authority’s (ITA), represented by the National Computer Emergency Readiness Team (OCERT).The one-day conference was held under the patronage of Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Legal Affairs, with the presence of Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Chairman of the Board of ITA, Dr Salim Sultan Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, and delegates from more than 55 countries.

The theme of the annual conference was ‘Cyber security against emerging threats’. Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, stressed on the importance of promoting regional cooperation to ensure cyber security.

“This conference would contribute in enhancing the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the member countries in order to secure institutions’ infrastructure and industry sector in light of the challenges and IT security risks that threaten the economies and development plans and programmes in the world,” he observed. With experts from more than 55 countries, the conference offered a perfect forum to share experiences by presenting the best practices on cyber security in various countries.

Seeking solutions
General Mohammed Azumi bin Mohammed, Chair of OIC-CERT and Chairman of Cyber Security Malaysia, stated: “It is critical to develop comprehensive cyber security policies and framework which outline some degree of interdisciplinary cooperation and response. Our objective is to seek solutions for issues that  strengthen cyber security and creating a trusted and resilient cyber environment.”

He added: “Security researchers found that the best defence against growing cyber threats is cooperative education and awareness, best-of-breed tools and robust policies that nurture collaborative efforts between industry, academia and government.” Oman has been designated to serve as the regional cyber security centre for the Arab region. This  positions Oman as the key cyber security hub in the Arab region and hosting this conference strengthens the role OCERT would need to play in the region.

Badar Al Salehi, Director of OCERT, said, “The conference will maximise the benefits to the other OIC countries by learning from what the OCERT has gained over the last few years. This conference would propagate OCERT’s vision and mission.”

Four different sessions at the conference showcased experiences and solutions implemented by the OIC-CERT member countries such as Qatar, Turkey, Iran, and Morocco. The conference continued throughout the day and focused on shaping the future of information security, the new breed of cyber threats and snags, optimising human capabilities in managing the impact of the new breed of cyber security threats, and dealing with the emerging threats.