UN agencies team up to make the online world safer
ITU announces significant new landmarks
in the fight against cyberthreats
19 May 2011 – ITU
has cemented new global partnerships designed to make cyberspace a safer, more
secure place to be for consumers, businesses, and – most crucially – children
A Memorandum of Understanding signed between ITU and the United Nations Office
on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at this year’s WSIS Forum event in Geneva will see the two organizations
collaborate in assisting ITU and UN Member States mitigate the risks posed by
The MoU will enable the two bodies to work together to make available the
necessary expertise and resources to establish legal measures and legislative
frameworks at national level, for the benefit of all interested countries. It is
the first time that two organizations within the UN system have formally agreed
to cooperate at the global level on cybersecurity.
“This new alliance with UNODC is a major milestone in implementing a coordinated
global approach to an increasingly serious global problem. Together, our two
agencies will generate powerful synergies that will help all interested
countries fight the scourge of cyberthreats and cybercrime and create a safer
online environment for all,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré.
In line with its long tradition of public-private partnership, ITU has also
signed an MoU with Symantec, a leading provider of security, storage and systems
management solutions. ITU will use Symantec’s security intelligence, in the form
of its quarterly Internet Security Threat Reports, to increase understanding of
and readiness for cybersecurity risks.
By distributing this report – which captures data from across Symantec’s Global
Intelligence Network – to interested Member States, ITU aims to help better
prepare governments in developing and developed nations alike to respond to the
ever-growing risk from malware, cyber attackers and information thieves. This
will facilitate awareness raising and knowledge transfer, complementing the work
of ITU and strengthening its effectiveness as a global forum for governments and
private sector to build confidence and security in the use of ICTs.
Commenting on the partnership, Enrique Salem, President and Chief Executive
Officer of Symantec, said: “Over the past year and a half, the researchers that
make up Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network have noted a dramatic increase in
the number of cyberattacks, as well as the growing sophistication and impact of
threats. The partnership between ITU and Symantec will facilitate an increased
understanding of cybersecurity risks and how they can be reduced, increasing
confidence in new and emerging technologies and facilitating the evolution of
the digital world.”
Further reinforcing ITU’s efforts in this area, ITU’s work and relations with
IMPACT continue to gain momentum, with over 130 ITU Member States now part of
ITU-IMPACT is the first cooperative global venture to make
available cybersecurity expertise and resources to enable interested Member
States to detect, analyze and respond effectively to cyberthreats. Of particular
benefit to developing countries and smaller states without the capacity and
resources to develop their own sophisticated cyber response centres, the
coalition also benefits technically advanced nations by providing them with a
global snapshot of potential and real online threats.
ITU-IMPACT members enjoy:
Access to the IMPACT Global Response Centre (GRC), the foremost cyberthreat
resource centre in the world for global threat information, at no cost.
Access to the Electronically Secure Collaboration Application Platform for
Experts (ESCAPE), allowing experts across different countries to share their
knowledge and best practices with regard to cybersecurity, as well as facilitate
the mitigation of cyberattacks, at no cost.
On-site assessments and elaboration of implementation strategies for the
establishment of the Computer Incidents Response Teams (CIRTs). To date 24
countries have been assessed, and work is in progress to move to the
Specialized cybersecurity capacity building programmes to arm Member
and international agencies with relevant knowledge to face and prevent
cyberthreats. To date, more than 200 cybersecurity professionals and 50 law
enforcement officers have received specialist training. In addition, 155
training scholarships to 29 partner countries globally have been provided.
ITU-IMPACT also offers Managed Security Services to the UN family of agencies.
For more information, please contact:
Corporate Strategy Division,
Chief, Media Relations & Public Information