Nº 4 2013 > WSIS Forum 2013

Cybersecurity takes centre stage

ITU develops partnerships with Member States and industry

Cybersecurity takes centre stage

Cybersecurity took centre stage at WSIS Forum 2013. A high-level dialogue on “Securing cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and Beyond” focused on the future strategies and actions needed to harmonize international cooperation.

Citing annual losses of more than USD 100 billion caused by cybercrime, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré said, “In the security business, trust is key, and if we do not start to develop a culture of trust, there will be no way that the cyberworld can ever become truly safe and secure.”

Global initiatives within the framework of ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda include Child Online Protection and the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT). Meeting during WSIS Forum 2013, the ITU-IMPACT partners and the Child Online Protection partners confirmed the commitment in the private sector and among civil society leaders to work together with governments to develop activities and projects.

Ghana seeks to safeguard cyberspace

Ghana’s Ministry of Communications has entered into an agreement with ITU on the establishment of a national Computer Incident Response Team, in order to strengthen its ability to prevent and mitigate cybersecurity incidents. The six-month project will provide Ghana with the necessary capacity and technical capabilities to build a national point of contact to respond in an effective manner to cybercrimes and cyberattacks.

”This project demonstrates the commitment of Ghana to unleash the full potential of ICT by ensuring security in cyberspace and building trust and confidence in the use of the Internet,” said Minister of Communications Edward Omane Boamah. “This agreement will enable Ghana to join the global network that we are building to secure cyberspace,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “Ghana will then become part of the solution, curbing potential cyberthreats that are currently emanating from sources in Africa.”

ITU and ABI Research agree to establish a global cybersecurity index

At a facilitation meeting on WSIS Action Line C5 (which accords ITU the responsibility for strengthening cybersecurity), participants recognized the importance of building confidence in the use of ICT in an increasingly networked society and agreed to extend the dialogue beyond the target date of 2015.

An important step was taken when ITU and ABI Research, a market intelligence company specializing in technology, signed an agreement to establish a global cybersecurity index. The aim of the index is to facilitate information sharing on cyberthreats among ITU Member States.

In line with an agreement made in 2011 with Symantec, a network security company, ITU released the Internet Security Threat Report, which presents Symantec data and analysis on the threat landscape and sets new milestones in the fight against cyberthreats. ITU’s ongoing commitment to publish Symantec security reports aims to apprise Member States of rising threats in cyberspace, in order to help create a safer and more secure environment for all users — governments and businesses and, most significantly, children and youth.

With the aim of enhancing child online safety, ITU and the Walt Disney Company are joining forces to develop workshops to train trainers during the “Be Safe, Be Smart” track of the Global Youth Summit that will take place on 9-11 September 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

A workshop organized by ITU and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation on the establishment of Child Online Protection national frameworks, emphasized that child protection is not only a matter of safeguarding children’s rights but is a core human development component in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. ITU and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation have established Child Online Protection national frameworks in six African Countries: Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

“Cybersecurity is a borderless issue that requires a global approach and concerted effort,” said Mr Sanou. “The WSIS Forum adds value as an enabling platform for international cooperation on ICT for development and for strengthening cybersecurity worldwide.”



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