By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter


The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology’s (ictQATAR) Cyber Security Division will hold sector-wise cyber security drills from 2015, disclosed a top official of the ministry.

Interacting with the media at the second cyber security drill yesterday, Khalid al-Hashmi, executive director for Cyber Security, ictQATAR, said the efforts were aimed at setting the global standards for information security exercises to improve collaboration and the nation’s readiness to address cyber risks.

“We will be organising cyber security drills for each sector separately from 2015. We will start it with financial sector, energy sector and the government sector. This national level initiative is in full alignment with the National Cyber Security Strategy’s 2nd objective of conducting national drills and exercises.”

“We launched the cyber security strategy early this year and it has five major pillars. They are; safeguard the nation’s critical information infrastructure; respond to and recover from cyber attacks; establish a legal framework and regulations; capacity building and collaboration.”

“The drills aim to make people connect to the new trends in cyber security and how the new trends can provide the right measures in mitigating the risks. We have a team, a good team that is monitoring the whole process and make sure that the cyber security is ensured in the country.”

Rashid Zayed al-Naemi, cyber security specialist, ictQATAR said: “The cyber threats are always the same and the more computers are connected to the Internet, the more threats you have. Cyber security is all about locating the risks and managing them. That is what is aimed through these drills.”

Representatives of public and private organisations are taking part in the daylong cyber security drill.With more than 320 participants, representing around 35 organisations from various critical sectors, including finance, telecommunications, energy, government, transportation, aviation and health, the drill is the first of its kind in the Mena region. It has set the global standards for information security exercises to improve collaboration and the nation’s readiness to address cyber risks as one team.

At the drill, 170 executives and decision makers from Qatar’s biggest organisations exercise their cyber security processes, national collaboration and resilience plans.

About 150 engineers are participating in 32 task forces, and technical teams are operating simultaneously in 32 locations across the country responding to the “near real life” simulated attacks that have been carefully designed to stress test the participating teams’ technical capabilities.




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