Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to give some brief opening remarks to you here for this important
annual conference. Over the last years, I have been to Moscow several times, including the last two visits to Moscow to join the conferences organized by RANS. This visit
is the third time that I come under the kind invitation of RANS. I see that we have
a very full and busy programme today so I will be brief.
To start with, I would like to forward to you the greetings from the Secretary-General
of ITU, Dr. H. Touré, myself, and the whole team of ITU elected officials.
At the start of the 21st century, our societies are increasingly dependent on networked
ICTs – information and communications technologies -- that span the globe. These
networks are responsible for a growing share of national wealth, as well as providing
hopes for greater prosperity.
However, this dependency has also brought new risks. In a recent ITU survey, almost
two thirds of respondents reported that they avoid undertaking certain activities
online due to a lack of trust. Fear of identity theft, viruses, spyware, phishing
and loss of personal information were some of the main concerns, together with the
growing risks and nuisance of spam. Along with growing threats and attacks on critical
networked infrastructures, these collectively fundamentally threaten the future
of global communications. There is a growing misuse of electronic networks for criminal
purposes or for objectives that can adversely affect the integrity of critical infrastructures within States.
Left unchecked, there is likely to be a steady decline and dwindling confidence
in the medium unless we explore new ways to build a safer digital society. How should
we do that? It is a new kind of challenge with many questions and still too few
answers. And in particular, since cyberspace does not respect national borders,
and because no country alone can solve the world’s cybersecurity problems, we must
find new methods for regional and international cooperation. International cooperation
is necessary to build consensus and provide more global convergence of separate
national approaches. Key activities would include the development of international
standards, information sharing, halting cyber-attacks in progress, coordinating
legal systems, cross-border prosecution and providing assistance to developing nations.
The ITU’s Secretary-General, Dr. Hamadoun Touré, considers cybersecurity to be one of his highest priorities during his term in office. He has also emphasized that
the serious and evolving nature of those cyber threats requires an effective partnership
between government, private sector and other actors. ITU, which is a unique forum
of 191 Member States, 700 private sector members and other actors, has a long history
of consensus building which should be used to ensure safety in cyberspace.
Over 70 ITU-T Recommendations are published in the field. ITU-T Recommendation X.509,
developed in 1988, for electronic authentication over public networks, and ITU-T
Recommendation X.805, which deals with security architecture for end-to-end communications
are two examples. A handbook “Security in Telecommunications and Information Technology – An overview of issues and the deployment of existing ITU-T Recommendations for
secure telecommunications” was prepared by ITU.
ITU has also organized many workshops, seminars, to address this issue. The Global
Symposium of Regulators put the security high on its agenda.
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), at its Phase II meeting in Tunis,
November 2005, requested ITU to play the facilitator/moderator role for WSIS Action
Line C5: Building Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs. To stress the importance
of a multi-stakeholder approach, ITU has the Partnerships for Global Cybersecurity
Initiative. ITU will host a meeting in Geneva on 14-15 May 2007 to further an ongoing
international work programme in areas such as harmonizing of cybercrime legislation
and developing watch, warning and incident response capabilities.
As an example of our information sharing activities, we have created a Cybersecurity
Gateway at www.itu.int/cybersecurity/ which is an easy-to-use information portal
on national and international cybersecurity related initiatives worldwide.
At the recent ITU Plenipotentiary Conference, which was held in Antalya, Turkey,
November 2006, the ITU Members reconfirmed Resolution 130 “Strengthening the role
of ITU in building confidence and security in the use of information and communication
technologies” and instructed us to put a focus on initiatives to assist developing
economies with cybersecurity and combating spam,and seek ways to enhance the exchange of technical information in these fields, promote implementation of emerging protocols
and standards that further enhance security, and promote international cooperation.
This is clearly now also a matter
of strategic economic interest for advanced economies.
Here I can assure you that ITU is determined to be at the forefront of international
development efforts. ITU will therefore be making extensive efforts to promote cybersecurity
in developing economies through a range of initiatives such as organizing regional
meetings amongst developing economies to build expertise; monitoring progress made
at national levels; building out watch, warning and incident response capabilities
and coordinating experience-sharing on a peer-to-peer basis amongst developing countries
and with their more advanced counterparts.
To date there have been a number of regional initiatives but what is missing is
a real universal approach to securing cyberspace involving all governments and the
private sector who operate most of today’s networks. This represents a huge
challenge. It’s clear we need some sort of platform or framework to facilitate the dialogue
amongst all the important actors who must be engaged in the process of securing
cyberspace. We are looking for input from our membership on what sort of specific
international institutionalized framework we should consider creating to foster
better cooperation on cybersecurity and countering spam.
The Russian Administration and Russian experts have played a very active role in
all these activities in ITU. The overall Russian contribution is very much appreciated
and I do encourage you to continue. I would like to take this opportunity to praise
the great efforts made by the Russian Administration, by Russian industry and its
experts in the development of cybersecurity. Finally, I would like to extend my
thanks to Mr. Arkadiy Kremer, Vice-Chairman of ITU-T SG 17, the leading technical
body on security within ITU, for his excellent contribution to the work of ITU’s
security study and for organizing this conference.
Thank you for your kind attention and my best wishes for a very successful event.