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 Friday, February 22, 2008

The ITU Regional Cybersecurity Forum ended yesterday following the adoption of the Doha Declaration on Cybersecurity. The ITU Workshop on Frameworks for Cybersecurity and Critical Information Infrastructure Protection (CIIP) was held in Doha, Qatar, 18−21 February 2008 in collaboration with the Qatar Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) and the Qatar Centre for Information Security (Q-CERT). Over 80 representatives from 18 countries in the Arab region as well as key regional organizations including the League of Arab States, Gulf Cooperation Council, and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, participated in the Forum.

"Global interconnectivity creates new interdependencies and risks that need to be managed at national, regional and international levels," said Mr Sami Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of ITUís Telecommunication Development Bureau. "The formulation and implementation by all nations of a national framework for cybersecurity and critical information infrastructure protection represents a significant first step in addressing the challenges arising from globally interconnected ICT infrastructures."

During the event, the role of governments in leading national cybersecurity efforts was discussed as well as the critical role of the private sector and other groups in developing policy and law aimed at the implementation and operation of a national cybersecurity strategy. The Forum stressed the importance of reviewing national cybercrime legislation to address threats in cyberspace and called for a national focal point for cyber-incident management to strengthen watch, warning, investigation, response and recovery. Discussions were also held on the necessity of promoting a national culture of cybersecurity to ensure that all users, owners and operators of information systems and networks know their responsibilities with regard to security and develop appropriate tools to combat cyber attacks.

Referring to the recent damage to undersea optical cables, said to have been caused by an adrift ship anchor according to the operator FLAG, Mr Al Basheer said that experience is the hardest teacher. "Whatever the cause, whether intentional or not, whether cybercrime or a mundane accident, the lesson we take away is that every nation needs to organize itself to take coordinated action related to the prevention of, preparation for, response to, and recovery from cyber incidents," said Mr Al Basheer.

Read more of the ITU press release here.