Cybersecurity drill focuses on securing major events
December 03 2019 10:49 PM
Professionals from government and private entities attending the seventh National Cybersecurity Dril
Professionals from government and private entities attending the seventh National Cybersecurity Drill (Star 7)

The National Cybersecurity Drill focuses on securing major events from a cybersecurity standpoint, a Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC) official has said.

“The seventh drill complements last year’s sixth National Cybersecurity Drill that focused on securing major events from a cybersecurity standpoint with deeper details and more thorough exercises this year in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar,” said engineer Nora Yousef al-Abdulla, director, Critical Information Infrastructure Protection at the Cyber Security Sector at MoTC.

The events of the seventh National Cybersecurity Drill (Star 7) began on Sunday at Al-Messila Resort and Spa with participation by more than 900 professionals from 95 government and private entities across Qatar. Star 7 includes various exercises that test entities’ preparedness to address and handle cyberattacks. And it discusses various topics and includes training sessions. The events will conclude tomorrow.

It’s part of a series of national drills that the Ministry began in 2013 in order to develop and improve the efficiency and preparedness of government institutions to address the cyberattacks. The theme for this year’s exercises is Defending the Nation – Know Your Adversary. The exercise is a simulation of tightly integrated process and technical scenarios.

“Star 7 scenarios were designed based on the outcomes of all previous exercises, in addition to other various cyberthreats that target Qatar and the region in general,” the MoTC engineer said. Year after year, she said, the scenarios of each national drill are becoming closer to reality where problem solvers are divided into two teams; the operation team and the technology team with each of them having to face and address the challenge their own way separately but this year’s exercises are based on teamwork. “This means the two teams will have to work together to make decisions together and thus giving a more rapid response,” she added.    

MoTC holds a national cybersecurity drill every year to achieve the objectives of the Qatar National Cybersecurity Strategy in terms of sharpening national cybersecurity capacity and boosting cyberattacks response preparedness like detecting, investigating, managing and responding to cyber breaches.

MoTC’s Assistant Undersecretary of Cybersecurity engineer Khalid Al-Hashmi, while delivering the opening speech, said that such national drills help measure the level of maturity across all institutions and entities in Qatar regarding defending their electronic assets and addressing weaknesses. These drills, he added, help diagnose key information security issues, suggest appropriate solutions and enhance the relevant policies and standards.

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