Thursday, August 22, 2019
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National information security standards framework launched

National information security
standards framework launched

As majority of the government information systems in the country are provided by international suppliers with varying levels of skill and security, it is the duty of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) and the official authorities as owners and operators of these systems to ensure that they have the necessary protection against cyber attacks, said Minister of Transport and Communications HE Jassim bin Saif al Sulaiti.
Sulaiti was speaking at the launch of framework of mechanisms for compliance with national standards for information security on Sunday.
He said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of the national information security standards framework, which is our approach to aligning ICT programmes, systems and services with best practices for the protection of digital information and data in accordance with our laws and regulations.
“This will be done through the issuance of licence certificates, documentation and accreditation in accordance with our national standards to help institutions from all sectors to secure information systems and improve maturity in the implementation of information security policies leading to the creation of a safer and more vibrant cyber environment.”
He said the compliance mechanism includes the launch of a new standard designed to ensure the quality and security of government digital services, empowering government institutions to provide more sophisticated services to all citizens and residents.
“The ministry’s mission is to provide all the tools and knowledge that will help to ensure the safety of the country, but we have a responsibility to use those tools and knowledge to make sure that all our government systems are secure and we fully understand the difficulty of compliance, but, as in all areas, many important things are difficult and require more effort and joint action,” the minister said.
He added, “The wise leadership realised long time ago the need to work to protect our technical system, and accordingly, a National Cyber Security Committee (NCSC) was established to promote public-private cooperation and to formulate a clear national strategy for cyber security, as well as to develop national policies and standards, conduct information security assessments and provide relevant programmes to help everyone protect information technology systems and electronic assets in both public and private sectors, particularly bioinformatics operators.”
Mechanisms for compliance with national information security standards include the launch of an IT audit certification programme that allows any organisation wishing to obtain a compliance certificate to engage with an accredited control service provider to support it and to ensure that the compliance certificate is obtained quickly and efficiently.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications Assistant Undersecretary Eng Khalid Sadiq al Hashmi said the launch of the programme will help institutions from all sectors to secure information systems.
Hashmi added that the aim of the standards, in addition to maintaining the security of government information, is to stimulate the local private sector by developing mechanisms and rules that lead to the development of services provided.
On his part, Head of Regulatory Affairs for Information Protection at the ministry Dr Ashraf Ismail said institutions can start the procedure by being evaluated by a certified cyber security controller, and based on the report, a certificate with a compliance stamp will be issued.


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