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Cybersecurity on global agenda at information society forum

ITU develops partnerships with Member States and industry

Geneva, 16 May 2013 – Cybersecurity took centre stage at the WSIS Forum – the follow up process of the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) that is currently taking place in Geneva, 13-17 May 2013.

The 2013 WSIS Forum is being held ten years after the Geneva Phase of WSIS, which took place in 2003.

The High Level Dialogue at the WSIS Forum on “Securing cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and Beyond” focused on future strategies and actions needed for harmonized international cooperation.

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

Global initiatives within the framework of ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA), such as Child Online Protection (COP) and the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) were reviewed.

The ITU-IMPACT Partners’ Meeting and COP Partners’ Meeting confirmed the commitment in the private sector and among civil society leaders to work together with governments and agreed on developing future activities and projects.

Ghana seeks to safeguard cyberspace

Within the framework of the ITU-IMPACT initiative, the Ministry of Communication of Ghana entered into an agreement with ITU on the establishment of a national Computer Incident Response Team, strengthening its ability to prevent and mitigate cybersecurity incidents. The 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. The project will run for six months.

”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 cyber threats that are currently emanating from sources in Africa.”

Building partnerships

Approaching the 10-year anniversary of the Tunis Phase of WSIS, which took place in 2005, the Forum meetings took stock of progress made on the outcomes – Action Lines – of the Summit. Discussions at the Facilitation Meeting on Action Line C5, which accorded ITU the responsibility for strengthening cybersecurity, recognized the importance of building confidence in the use of ICTs in an increasingly networked society and agreed to extend the dialogue beyond the target date of 2015.

An important landmark was reached with ITU and ABI Research, a market intelligence company specializing in technology, signing an agreement to establish a Global Cybersecurity Index designed to facilitate information sharing on cyberthreats among ITU Member States.

In line with an agreement made in 2011 with Symantec, the network security company, ITU released the Internet Security Threat Report which presents Symantec data and analysis on the threat landscape and reaches new milestones in the fight against cyber threats. ITU’s ongoing commitment to publish Symantec security reports aims to appraise Member States of rising threats in cyberspace, in order to 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-the-Trainer during the Be Safe, Be Smart track of the Global Youth Summit that will take place 9-11 September in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Furthermore, a workshop organized by ITU and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) on the Establishment of COP National Framework, 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 CTO have established COP 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 Sanou. “The WSIS forum adds value as an enabling platform for international cooperation on ICT for development and for strengthening cybersecurity worldwide.”

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
tel +41 22 730 5046
tel +41 79 249 4861
tel pressinfo@itu.int
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