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Sultanate addresses Critical National Infrastructure cybersecurity

Sultanate addresses Critical National Infrastructure cybersecurity

January 16, 2019

The Information Technology Authority (ITA) held a seminar on Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) Cybersecurity for the CNI CEOs in the Sultanate. The seminar was held under the patronage of His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


With the attendance of around 70 CEOs from different critical infrastructure organizations in Oman, the most recent cyber security threats and challenges to the CNI Organizations as well as the measures, precautions and actions needed to deal with cyber risks and security gaps concerning Oman’s critical infrastructure sector from a senior Executive Level prospective were addressed in the seminar.


The Director General of Oman National CERT, Eng. Bader bin Ali Al Salehi, highlighted the impacts of cyber threats on governments and he shed light on the Sultanate efforts on this regard, saying, “Today’s seminar aligns with the efforts Oman is taking to address the uprising issues of cyber threats and their significant impacts on the economy where global leaders and businesses are recognizing cyber security as a prerequisite to further explore new opportunities.”


“On a national level, and in the past few years, we have responded to more than 824 incidents targeting government and CNI sector where Intrusion Attempt, Vulnerabilities, Malicious Code, Malware Infection, Web Phishing were the most top incidents targeting CNI organizations. Within the region, in the GCC in specific, cyber-attacks have been rising over the past few years; aiming not only to simply destroy data but also to sabotage the firm’s operations and trigger an explosion,” Al Salehi added.


Eng. Bader emphasized the emerging cyber threat with latest reports, saying “It is very evident that economic investment will increasingly be dependent on how well we can demonstrate a secure digital infrastructures and a secure cyber space where statistics shows that the annual estimated financial impact of cybercrime on global economy is around 445 Billion and estimated be approximately $2.1 trillion by end of 2019.” He also added: “According to the Global Risk Report 2018, published by the World Economic Forum, the financial impact of cybersecurity breaches is rising too, and as per FBI Report in 2017 the estimated impact of ransomware was approximately 1 B $.”


The CEO of UK National Cybersecurity Centre, Mr. Ciaran Martin, presented the UK government experience in protecting the NCI organizations from the cyber threats. The seminar also included a presentation by Mr. Lewis Woodcock, a specialist in cybersecurity, in which he presented real experiences of the vital organizations in the UK and the size of the losses incurred; in addition to shedding light on the ways to deal with this type of incidents.