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ITA hosts Forum for PKI and eTrust

Inter-regional Standardisation Forum to support adoption of trust technologies

ITA hosts Forum for PKI and eTrust
The Inter-Regional Standardisation Forum for PKI and eTrust is taking place in Oman.

Oman's Information Technology Authority (ITA) is hosting the first ever Interregional Standardization Forum for PKI and eTrust, to support the development and adoption of public key infrastructure and digital certification to protect systems.

The Forum will focus on ways and mechanisms for bridging the standardization gap and enhancing eTrust in the digital world, and the use of technologies such as cloud computing, IoT and blockchain to support trust.

The agenda also includes discussions of the latest PKI solutions and services, current eTrust policy and regulation; international benchmarking overview of PKI in the Arab and African region; PKI for IoT security and critical infrastructure systems protection; and best practices and lessons learned at the international level.

The event is being hosted by the ITA represented by the National Digital Certification Center and the Arab ICT Organization (AICTO), in close partnership with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

Eng Omar Bin Salim Alshanfari, Deputy CEO for Operations at ITA said in his opening address: "The big challenge facing governments and businesses alike is how to keep up with the tremendous progress in the digital world and keep their services and networks away from the cyber threats increasingly rising worldwide. In this respect, the need to shift to strong eTrust services to verify the user's identity through internet such as the public key infrastructure (PKI) which is becoming a must have technology since it provides a wide range of applications dealing with the identity authentication, confidentiality, access control, and security.

"In this context, ITA developed the regulatory framework and the integrated infrastructure for PKI in accordance with the eTransactions law issued in 2008 by the establishment of the National Digital Certification Centre. Up to now, NDC issued more than 10 million digital certifications, digital identity and signature on ID/residents cards, more than 55,000 digital certification and signature on SIM cards supporting PKI. The centre provides services for more than 26 government and private organisations through the integration of 65 systems with the PKI system such as the digital identity system, the digital signature system, the real/time stamping, all of which managed to perform more than 5.80 million successful transactions using PKI during four years only," he added.

Chaesub Lee, ITU's Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau commented: "ITU develops international standards to provide a common basis for ICT growth and innovation worldwide. To achieve this objective, ITU works to be globally inclusive. Successful international collaboration begins with successful regional collaboration. Today's forum shows that this is well recognized by Arab and African states and thanks to Oman for hosting this significant gathering."

"Regional and international cooperation are crucial, they must be supported by appropriate policies to go beyond creating laws to find sustainable and global solutions leading towards the interoperability and the mutual recognition in the field of eTrust services. This forum, came as a key step for fostering more cooperation and knowledge and expertise exchange between Arab and African countries," said HE Eng Mohammad Omar, general secretary, the ICT Arab Organisation.

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