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19/12/2016

ITA Organizes Oman’s 3rd National Cyber Drill

Organized by The Information Technology Authority (ITA), represented by Oman National Cert and in cooperation with the EITU/Arab Regional Cyber Security Center, the third National Cyber Drill started yesterday Sunday at golden tulip Muscat and will continue for 2 days. The drill, which targets more than 115 IT professionals from 28 government entities, is attended by specialists from various national critical sectors including Finance, Telecommunication, Energy, Government, Oil & Gas , Transportation, Aviation and Health amongst others.

The National cyber drill is conducted to expose the participants from cybersecurity professionals including incident response teams to various scenarios based on case studies and real-life situations, which provides them with an opportunity to test their skills and knowledge in responding to attacks. The objective of this drill is to enhance communication, team work, and participating teams’ incident response capabilities to ensure continued collective efforts against cyber threats.

About the importance of the National Cybersecurity drill in enhancing the cybersecurity readiness to respond to various attacks and incidents that might threaten Government and critical organization in the sultanate, Engineer Bader Ali Alsalhi, DG, Oman National CERT said in his opening speech "considering the cyberattacks that occurred over the past few years and targeted some of the organizations, it is very clear that such attacks are drastically increasing. According to the latest statistics by Symantic, the specialized organization in Cybersecurity, it indicates that there is a growing increase on the cyberattacks that target and block websites on a daily basis. In 2015, the cyberattacks were estimated by 1.1 million whereas in 2014, they were only 493.000 cyber-attacks.”

He further added “beside cyberattacks, government and private organizations incurred big financial losses due to the exposure to malicious ransomware that prevent authorized users from accessing personal files and data because such malicious software encrypt files and use strong encryption algorithms. As Symantec also indicates that government and private organizations are increasingly facing the threat of malicious ransomware by 35% in 2015, more than the previous years to reach up to 362.000 equivalent to 992 cases every day. This what pushes us to shed light on enhancing cybersecurity readiness and train and empower human resources to deal and address cybersecurity incidents which might affect government and critical organizations in the sultanate.”

The cyber drill will be 3 days’ focusing on scenarios and simulation of real attacks which cover a variety topic in addressing computer emergency response matters

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