In a boost to Qatar’s Cyber Security sector, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday for setting up the Qatar National Laboratory for Technology Vetting (Common Criteria Vetting Lab), a first in the GCC and Arab states.
The Cybersecurity Affairs Sector at the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) signed the MoU with TÜViT, a German company and subsidiary of TUV Nord, a key player in setting international standards in Information Technology.
The state-of-the-art technology lab aims to test security products for functionality and vet Information and Communications Technology products, while enhancing the security standards in the country.
The MoU was signed by Nora Yousef al-Abdulla, director of Critical Information Infrastructure Protection at the Cyber Security Sector, MoTC, and Frank Beuting, general manager IT Security, TUViT, at the ongoing Qatar IT Conference & Exhibition (Qitcom 2019).
“The MoU reflects our commitment towards building safer, smarter and more resilient digital cities. We believe the Technology Vetting Lab will be an asset to the country and will be at the heart of the cybersecurity sector in Qatar,” said al-Abdulla.
“In line with Qatar’s National Cybersecurity Strategy, we will be focusing on several product categories for different sectors including oil and gas, IoT, smart cities and autonomous vehicles. Qitcom 2019 was a launchpad for us to announce the lab’s arrival and our vision of creating safer and smarter cities,” she added.
The lab process begins with vendors (technology developers) submitting a request to check hardware and software products. The lab conducts an extensive investigation into the products and issues certificates as needed. The entire process takes around six months to one year for each product.
Dirk Kretzschmar, managing director, TUViT, said: “Qatar’s focus on cybersecurity propelled us to work with them on one of the most integral and exciting projects in the GCC, considering this will be the first lab we will help setup in the region. The first phase of the lab is in its final stages and nearing completion. We are looking forward to making it operation-ready by the end of Q4 – 2019.”
The security lab has been built to ISO standards and will be audited every two years to ensure it is up to the standards of the Common Criteria Recognition Agreement, an international agreement between 31 nations.
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