GIS - 11 September, 2018: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Capacity Building Workshop focusing on cyber security and the SADC Regional Cyber security Drill opened yesterday at the Cyber Tower 1 in Ebène in presence of the Minister of Technology, Communication and Innovation, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden.
Some 50 delegates from 12 countries are attending the 4 days’ event which is a joint collaboration of the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, the Computer Emergency Response Team of Mauritius and the SADC. The main objectives are to build capacity and create awareness on cyber security, conduct the first SADC Regional Cyber Drill and develop the framework to establish the SADC Regional Computer Incident Response team. The event will also focus on the authentication schemes the member countries have deployed using Public Key Infrastructure Technology.
In his address, Minister Sawmynaden pointed out that statistics regarding cyber threats are alarming as each minute a cyber-attack is being performed somewhere in the world. According to him, it is essential for all countries to work together and share knowledge and expertise to handle cyber threats. The workshop and the Drill are key events that will help participants better understand the issue and enhance their country’s preparedness to be in a better position to detect vulnerabilities present in their national infrastructure and improve security practices, he said.
The Minister reiterated the vision of Government of making Mauritius a cyber-island, a regional ICT hub as well as cyber-secure. The holding of the workshop and the cyber drill, he said, is in line with Government’s aim to make the country a cyber security hub of the region, he added. He indicated that the International Telecommunications Union ranks Mauritius 6th in the world in cyber security, which he said attests to the progress the country is making. Another major achievement of the country, he added, is the implementation of the New Data Protection Act, for the protection of citizens’ personal data and to allow companies to continue to provide quality services, making Mauritius the first country in the world to meet the new requirements of European General Data Protection Regulation .
Moreover, Minister Sawmynaden emphasised that the cyber threat landscape of the region has changed drastically with a high internet penetration in households and businesses, increasing usage of smartphones as well as social networks contributing to make cyberspace more vulnerable to attacks. On that score, he recalled that his Ministry endeavours to set up a Regional Capacity Building Centre to strengthen international engagement among different countries, as well as to act as a common platform for them to discuss how law enforcement bodies can help detect, handle and prosecute cyber criminals.
Speaking about the rising incidence of cyber threats on social media as reliance on technology is increasing, the Minister highlighted the need to adopt a proactive and rigorous approach to implement effective measures to fight against cyber criminals. He enumerated key governmental measures to leverage the country as a cyber hub, namely: a cyber-threat monitoring system to better monitor and respond to cyber threats at the national level ; Mauritius Cybercrime Online Reporting System to simplify the reporting system and provide a platform for citizens to better understand different cybercrimes and their impacts ; A National Cyber Security Strategy and a national cybercrime strategy developed to address cyber threats to enhance the capabilities of law enforcement bodies to detect and prosecute cyber criminals and the drafting of a National Cyber Incident Response Plan that has reached a finalisation stage, to provide a consolidated national approach to management and coordination in dealing with cyber threats.
Regional SADC Cyber security Drill
The Regional SADC Cyber security Drill, to be organised for the first time by the SADC Secretariat is being conducted on the 11 and 12 September 2018. The drills aim to assess organisations’ preparedness to resist cyber threats and enable timely detection, response, and mitigation, recovery actions in the event of cyber-attacks. Some of the scenarios that will be simulated during the drill are: Threat Intelligence; Incident Analysis and Reporting; Forensic Analysis; Advanced Forensic Analysis of Malware; Incident Coordination and Mitigation Plan and Malware Reverse Engineering.
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