MUSCAT: Government organisations and companies in the Sultanate are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks unless preventive measures are taken.
The Oman National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), represented the Information Technology Authority, organised the third National Cyber Drill yesterday at the Golden Tulip, Muscat. The three-day drill targeted more than 115 IT professionals from 28 government entities as well as specialists from various critical sectors in the Sultanate, including finance, telecommunications, energy, oil and gas, transportation and aviation, among others.
Speaking about the drill, Engineer Bader Ali Al Salhi, Director General of Oman National CERT, said, “It is very clear that such attacks are becoming drastically more frequent, considering the cyber attacks that occurred over the past few years which targeted some of the organisations.”
According to Symantic, a renowned cyber security organization, government and private organisations are increasingly facing the threat of malicious ransomware, reporting a 35 percent rise in 2015, accounting for 362,000 instances, equivalent to 992 cases a day. “This is what makes it necessary to shed light on enhancing cyber-security readiness and to train and empower human resources to deal and address cyber-security incidents which might affect government and critical organizations in the Sultanate,” said Al Salhi.
The drill will give participants exposure. It will feature incident response teams acting in various scenarios based on case studies and real life situations, thus testing their skills and knowledge about responding to such attacks.
According to the ITA’s annual report, the Information Security Division thwarted 398,118 attacks against government portals as well as 4,872,081 against government networks in 2015.
Data also shows that the Oman National CERT discovered and handled 5,932 real and serious cyber security attacks against Oman’s cyber space as well as discovering 298 damaging malwares last year