ÚÑÈí  25 May 2019

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    ICT Minister Chairs ESCC Meeting

    Cairo, 25 December 2018

    The Egyptian Supreme Cybersecurity Council (ESCC) meeting has been held, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat, where the meeting reviewed the work programs of the National Cybersecurity Strategy and the most important measures to address cyber threats.  

    During the meeting, Talaat ascertained that Egypt is taking a steady step towards developing and enhancing the ICT sector, being an important sector for the national economy. He referred to the State's keenness to secure the ICT infrastructure and improve cyber preparedness, thus contributing to promoting the role of ICT industry in developing Egypt's competitiveness, creating job opportunities and attracting investments.

    The ICT Minister pointed to ESCC significant role in supporting digital transformation and securing the ICT infrastructure in the various sectors, especially the vital ones. He underlined the significance of cyber preparedness to confront the various cyber threats, including Denial of Service attacks (DoS), sabotaging infrastructure, spreading malicious software and intensive cyberattacks, and the theft of personal data and digital identity. He stated that the global forecasts indicate that the value of losses resulting from cyberattacks and cybercrimes worldwide exceeds $ two trillion in 2019. Spending on information security systems and services is expected to increase next year to $ 124 billion, since spending exceeded this year to reach $ 100 billion.

    The meeting discussed developments in cybersecurity areas at the national and international levels since last meeting of the Council, held in May 2017. Efforts were also discussed to prepare for the establishment of the calibration and accreditation center for cybersecurity. Cybersecurity experts of the ESCC Technical Secretariat reviewed the most important activities made in cooperation with the Egyptian Computer Emergency Response Team (EG-CERT) of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) in the field of combating malicious viruses, detecting and addressing the gaps to protect the infrastructure from cyberthreats.

    The head of ESCC Executive Bureau Sharif Hashem gave a brief presentation on the National Cybersecurity Strategy, which was prepared in accordance with the mandate of the Prime Minister and in line with Article 31 of the Egyptian Constitution, stipulating that “The security of cyberspace is an integral part of the economic system and national security. The State shall take the necessary measures to preserve it as regulated by law.”

    The National Cybersecurity Strategy entails six programs, including developing the appropriate legislative framework for cybersecurity, fighting cybercrimes, protecting privacy and digital identity, developing an integrated national system for cybersecurity protection and securing vital infrastructure. This is in addition to the digital identity program, enhancing infrastructure to support confidence in e-transactions in general and in e-government services in particular, and developing human resources and expertise to activate the cybersecurity system in the State’s vital sectors, while supporting scientific research and development of cybersecurity industry. It also entails launching a program to raise awareness of the opportunities and benefits offered by electronic services to individuals, institutions and government agencies, and the importance of cybersecurity to protect these services from risks and challenges that may face them.

    Implantation of the strategy started late last year. The project to establish CERTs at the vital sectors was launched. This is in addition to reviewing the draft law on cybercrimes, discussing the proposed personal data protection law and the possibility of entering into the African Union Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection. Proposals for launching cybersecurity training programs, and holding annual cybersecurity events to shed light on the importance of cybersecurity and reviewing key global developments in this area, are currently under consideration.

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