ITA holds national cybersecurity drill

MUSCAT: The Information Technology Authority (ITA) represented by the Oman National CERT is holding the 4th National Cyber Drill from October 23-25. Thirty-four government and private organisations are attending the drill which aims at building the capacities of nationals employed by government organisations and vital infrastructure sectors. The participants are expected to gain new skills in dealing with threats and cyberattacks, as well as boost readiness to properly respond to such emergencies and enhance cooperation, coordination between the Oman National CERT and other public and private institutions.
Badr bin Ali al Salehi, Director General, Oman National CERT, delivered the ITA speech saying that 83.5 million cyberattacks occurred around the world in 2016. As many as 362,000 organisations were attacked by ransomware in 2015, an approximately 992 attacks per day. In 2016, the ransomware attacks exceeded 463,000 with an average 1,268 attacks per day. Domestically, the Oman National CERT dealt with more than 1,744 cybersecurity incidents in 2016 compared with 509 in 2015. The number of cyberattacks registered so far this year stood at 1,839.
Beside reducing the impact of cyberattacks, the Oman National CERT has a preemptive precautionary role by providing protection against potential threats. Based on this, we call on all organisations to comply with the regulations set by the ITA, activate its cybersecurity policies and heed security warnings issued by the ITA regarding cyber security gaps which exceeded 480 warnings in 2016, Al Salehi said.