Cybersecurity Efforts Accelerate Around the World
Monday, March 14, 2016 | Comments
Countries throughout the world are accelerating efforts to address cybersecurity risks to their public-safety and mission-critical communications networks. International cooperation is a recurring theme in many countries’ plans to fight cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity attacks do not respect state and national borders, and as a result, several countries have announced initiatives that focus on national and international strategies for combating cyber threats.

In December, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Luxembourg Presidency of the European Union Council of Ministers reached an agreement on a directive designed to ensure a high level of network and information security (NIS) in the EU. Objectives of the directive include improving cybersecurity capabilities in member states, improving cooperation among member states in the area of cybersecurity, and requiring operators of essential services in energy, transport, banking and healthcare to take appropriate security measures and report incidents to the national authorities.

“The agreement constitutes a major step in improving the resilience of our network and information systems in Europe, one of the objectives of the EU cybersecurity strategy and a cornerstone of our efforts towards creating a Digital Single Market,” said Günther H. Oettinger, commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society. “Improving cooperation and information exchange between member states is a key element of the agreed rules and will help us tackle the increasing number of cyber attacks.

“Cybersecurity is essential in today’s European digital economy and society — and it remains a permanent challenge,” said Oettinger.

The text of the agreement must be formally approved and published in the EU Official Journal. Member states will have six months to identify essential services operators and 21 months to implement the directive into national laws. The commission plans to launch a public-private partnership on cybersecurity this year, outlined in its Digital Single Market strategy developed in 2015.

In France last year, Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced the country’s national cybersecurity strategy, which outlines objectives including education and awareness, defense of national information systems and international cooperation.

Australia launched the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) in November 2014, leveraging security capabilities from the country’s Defence Department, Attorney-General’s Department, Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO), Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Crime Commission in a single location in Canberra. Pooling the resources of each of these agencies creates a hub for greater collaboration and information sharing with the private sector, state and territory governments, and international partners, the center said.

Functions of the ACSC include raising awareness of cybersecurity trends, reporting on the nature and extent of cyber threats, encouraging reporting of incidents, analyzing specific threats, coordinating national cybersecurity operations and capabilities, and leading the Australian government’s operational response to cyber incidents.

In the Middle East, cybersecurity education efforts have been underway in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for nearly five years. Khalifa University, Airbus Defence and Space and Emiraje Systems established the Cyber Operations Center of Excellence located at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, UAE, following an agreement signed in 2010.

Recently, Raytheon launched a global cyber education program intended to develop a new generation of engineering and technology students that will focus on cybersecurity skills. The company introduced the program at two Middle East security events in February — the United Arab Emirates Security Forum and the cyber educational workshop at Khalifa University.

Motorola Solutions also jumped into the cybersecurity space last year, offering government and public-safety customers expanded cybersecurity services to help against cyber attacks.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the Organization of American States (OAS) has spearheaded cybersecurity efforts via the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) and the Cyber Security Program. Late last year, the U.S. government released a new strategy to improve its participation in the development and use of international standards for cybersecurity, saying a more unified international approach to cybersecurity benefits all companies and organizations. The National Security Council (NSC) Cyber Interagency Policy Committee’s International Cybersecurity Standardization Working Group wrote the report.

The document said more than 200 standards developing organizations (SDOs) worldwide are developing IT and industrial control systems (ICS) standards, including the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R).

Goals of the strategy include:
• Ensuring there is a sufficient inventory of international standards that can serve as a basis for the cybersecurity and resilience of U.S. organizations, particularly critical infrastructure.

• Using international standards as a key part of U.S. government procurement policy to support secure and resilient operations.

• Ensuring that international standards meet the cybersecurity interests of the U.S. government including protecting against illicit cyber activities or actions by terrorist groups, cybercriminals and hostile nation-state actors.

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On 3/15/16, Richardson Omokaro said:
This is a good move by organizations and bodies responsible for securing our cyber community. There is a need to have a single policy framework not only in the EU but all around the world. Threat is eminent to all, and we are in the information age where the war now is not machines and guns but attack on information that will have more greater impacts to millions.


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