ITU Arab Regional Cybersecurity Centre opens annual summit in Oman
ITU ARCC and Oman Information Technology Authority hosts regional cybersecurity summit
The International Telecommunications Union's Arab Regional Cybersecurity Centre (ITU-ARCC) has opened its sixth annual conference in Muscat.
The conference, which is hosted by Oman's Information Technology Authority (ITA) and the national OCERT, is intended to enhance the security capacity and capabilities of the countries in the ITU ARCCk, and to improve collaboration among Arab countries on cybersecurity matters.
The summit is being held under the theme of ‘Towards Efficient Cyber Resilience', and brings together around 350 attendees from regional cybersecurity centers, officials and specialists from government and private entities including critical national infrastructure sectors.
Dr Salim Alruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, said in his opening address: "Selecting ‘Towards Efficient Cyber Resilience' as the key theme for the 6th Cybersecurity summit reflects the pressing need for further collaboration among countries to address the exponential increase of cyber threats and the size of its negative consequences on countries' economies and security.
"As cyber threats cannot be either stopped or ignored, we can at least mitigate its risks through serious cooperation between countries by putting in place the right policies and standards and enhancing national capabilities as well as exchanging knowledge and experiences.
"We are proud that Oman is ranked first among Arab countries and fourth globally at the ITU's global Cybersecurity index in 2017. Locally, our IT security specialists were able to handle more than 70 million attack targeted government networks last year with an increase of 5000% as well as dealing with more than six million cyberattacks on government websites, with an increase of 300%. In addition, the team managed to discover a number of networks used to carry out various electronic crimes associated with identity theft with an increase reached more than 400%. Furthermore, more than 1,800 cybersecurity incidents targeted organisations and individuals have been dealt with," he added.
Eng. Ibrahim Alhadad, Regional Director Arab Regional Office, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), commented: "We thank the ITA for hosting this important event and supporting ITA to fulfill its mission and objectives. The annual RCS summit is a significant platform to promote dialog and partnerships at regional and international levels.
"As innovations in technology are rapidly increasing, the cyber threats resulting from such advancement grow as well. Hence, it is a must for government and all critical sectors organisations especially at the developing countries, to develop and maintain a resilient ecological IT security systems to counteract cyber-attacks and to enhance people's trust in using ICT and eServices," he continued.