The hacking of the Syrian Ministry of Defence’s website has emphasised the ongoing threat to the Middle East from hackers and malicious intruders, regional experts said. In an act of retaliation, the Syrian Electronic Army recently defaced Anonplus, the social network used by hacktivist group Anonymous.
These kinds of threats are detrimental to the critical infrastructures of a nation which are very much dependent on computer network in their daily operations, experts added. Therefore disruption to these infrastructures will have severe implications on a country’s political, governmental and economical activities.
Acknowledging the threats in the cyber world, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has agreed to the establishment of inter Computer Security and Incident Response Team (CSIRT) or the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) collaboration among its member countries.
Presently, 18 OIC countries are members of this collaboration and various activities are being conducted with the main objective being to facilitate the development of CIRST capabilities, information sharing on views and issues in cyber security.
In light of the recent events, OIC-CERT supported the upcoming Cyber Defence Summit, organised and hosted by a leading French business information group Naseba. The two-day initiative is being held in Abu Dhabi on September 20th – 21st 2011.
OIC-CERT has also established numerous collaborative initiatives and partnerships with regional CERTS, in order to strengthen the cyber security of the region.
Lt Col Professor Dato’ Husin Jazri, the chair of the OIC-CERT and also the CEO of CyberSecurity Malaysia, the Malaysian cyber security specialist centre explained, “The OIC-CERT has a mission of providing a platform for member countries to explore and develop collaborative initiatives and possible cyber security partnerships, to strengthen their self-reliance in the cyber space. It is only right for the OIC-CERT to support such an event as long it is in line with our mission. In addition, cross-border collaborative efforts among the OIC-CERT members and Middle Eastern countries could be enhanced to mitigate any cyber security issues and challenges.”
Key industry figures from the Middle East are expected to attend this initiative, which aims to highlight and discuss the implementation of the latest technologies and strategies to minimise future security breaches.
“The OIC-CERT is the leading authority for cyber security in the region, and they exemplify the collaborative effort required to fight this global threat. All businesses in the Middle East must ensure they have sufficient measures in place to counter a possible attack. As a partner of this summit, they will highlight the success that could be achieved through effective international collaboration and cooperation,” added Naseba sales and marketing director, Nic Watson.
To continue their efforts in combatting the global threat of cyber terrorism, OIC-CERT are also organising two other events – the OIC-CERT Annual Conference in Dubai on September 27th, and the OIC-CERT Technical Training in Brunei on November 21st – 25th, it was announced.