Cybersecurity in action at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009

Date: Wed, 10/07/2009 - 18:07

Cybersecurity in action at ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009

ITU/IMPACT partnership showcases state-of-the-art global early response system

Journalists attending ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 had a sneak preview into the dark world of cyberthreats with the showcasing of the world’s most advanced system against global cyberattacks at the ITU/IMPACT stand at Geneva Palexpo.
IMPACT (the International Multilateral Partnership against Cyber Threats) set up its Global Response Centre (GRC) in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, earlier this year as the international community’s foremost cyberthreat resource, to proactively track and defend against cyberthreats. Mr Anuj Singh, Director of the GRC, demonstrated the centre’s alert and response capabilities including an Early Warning System that enables IMPACT members to identify and head-off potential and imminent attacks before they can inflict damage on national networks. The GRC also offers a framework for countries to collaborate and effectively respond to cyberthreats.
Speaking at the presentation, ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré stressed the importance of cyberpeace, where nations collaborate in a global cybersecurity framework based on enlightened self-interest. "Every country is now critically dependent on technology for commerce, finance, healthcare, emergency services, food distribution and more. Loss of vital networks would quickly cripple any nation – and none is immune to cyberattack."
"We are changing the rules of the game," said Sami Al-Basheer, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), in charge of deployment of such capabilities. "In facilitating the access by ITU Member States to a global platform, we are realizing effective international cooperation. This is the very first time that so many nations are agreeing to work together to achieve a global culture of cybersecurity, and we hope that all 191 ITU Member States will benefit from this unique initiative."
Mohamed Shihab, Technical Advisor, Chairman’s Office, IMPACT, shared his views on the relevance and need for IMPACT. "We welcome ITU’s support in the efforts to counter cyberthreats. While governments remain responsible for the security of a nation’s critical infrastructure, the expertise to counter these threats is dispersed across the globe, and in many cases, found within the private sector and academia. IMPACT creates a unique platform for these groups to collaborate in preventing and responding to cyberattacks. The GRC is an excellent example of this, with intelligence from leading industry players consolidated to serve as a virtual situation room for governments."
IMPACT and ITU are working together with partners from across the industry, including Arbor Networks, F-Secure, Kaspersky Lab, Microsoft, SANS Institute, Secunia, Symantec, Sophos, SRI-MTC and Trend Micro, which provide the GRC with live data inputs to enable real-time analysis, aggregation, and dissemination of global cyberthreat information.
Last year, ITU signed an MoU with IMPACT at the ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 event in Bangkok, Thailand, as part of its Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA). Launched in 2007, the GCA is a broad multi-stakeholder initiative designed to tackle the growing scourge of cyberthreats at a global level. The agreement enables ITU’s 191 Member States to take advantage of IMPACT’s advanced cybersecurity capabilities by becoming IMPACT partners.
The demonstration in Geneva was followed by the signing of an MoU between IMPACT and Poste Italiane on behalf of the Cyber Security Centre of Excellence (CSCOE).
"Cybersecurity is now a priority on the institutional agenda," declared the Italian Minister for Economic Development, Claudio Scajola. That is why the Italian government intends to lend its full support to the plan organized by Poste Italiane and to international cooperation in the sector, in order to encourage the development of policies aimed at guaranteeing security in digital communications."
Signing the agreement, Poste Italiane CEO Massimo Sarmi said: "The agreement signed today with IMPACT gives international recognition to Poste Italiane’s project to tackle cyberthreats. The Cyber Security Centre of Excellence will be launched in 2009 in Italy, and will rely on a strong network of partners from government, private sector and academia. We are proud that ITU and IMPACT will share and support our work to develop the Cyber Security Centre of Excellence."
"I am delighted to see another ITU Member take advantage of the very latest cybersecurity protection facilities in a world where everyone - from individuals to companies to nation states – is a potential target," said Dr Touré.
The signing of the agreement brings the total number of ITU member countries that have joined IMPACT to 37. Advanced discussions are underway with an additional 15 nations.
Cybersecurity is a key theme at this year’s ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 event, both at the Forum and on the show floor. The presentation can be viewed all week on Stand 5016 in Hall 5 at Palexpo, Geneva.

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