Cairo on 2 December 2019
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Amr Talaat underlined that cybersecurity is one of the main pillars of the strategy of building digital Egypt, and a key prop of an economy based on smart technological knowledge. He said that achieving cybersecurity is the responsibility of all government sectors. He referred to the improvement in Egypt's performance and efficiency in preventing cyber-threats, managing crises and fighting cybercrimes; ranking 23rd internationally and 4th regionally in the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) issued by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in August 2018.
This came in the Minister’s speech he delivered at the opening session of the activities of the First National Cyber Security Summit, organized by the Egyptian Computer Emergency Readiness Team (EG-CERT) of the NTRA, under the patronage of the ICT Minister and the Chairman of the Egyptian Supreme Cybersecurity Council (ESCC). This event is held in the period from 2 to 4 December 2-4, at Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC), held as a parallel event to Cairo ICT Conference and Exhibition.
Dr. Talaat added that the development of smart devices and systems made the production process more flexible and efficient, and increased data processing capacity, adding that digital transformation is one of the key drivers of growth in major companies and government sectors.
The ICT Minister also said that the growing dependence on digital technologies involves major risks, adding that cyberattacks are no longer limited to hacking, but there are cybercrimes that can lead to the destruction of networks. These risks do not just affect one country; they threaten the whole world. He added that the global community exerts effort to fight such crimes by increasing spending in this field.
Talaat presented the foundations laid by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) for fighting challenges posed by evolving threats, and the necessary measures taken for protecting data, information, systems and networks from destruction and hacking. EG-CERT of NTRA was established in April 2009 to provide technical support 24/7 for protecting and supporting the national information infrastructure, especially in the ICT sector, as well as other strategic sectors such as banking, oil, electricity and others, to help them fight cyber-threats. SCC was established in 2017. It set the cybersecurity strategic plan to boost the readiness for fighting cyber-threats in different state sectors. This includes setting an appropriate legislative framework for securing cyberspace, fighting cybercrimes and protecting privacy. In addition, the Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law was issued.
Dr. Talaat stated that the plan includes establishing a national system for protecting the cyberspace, securing the ICT infrastructure and the digital identity, and increasing community awareness of the safe use of the Internet. In addition, he discussed the opportunities and advantages that e-services offer to individuals, institutions and government agencies, as well as the importance of cybersecurity in protecting such services. This is in addition to supporting scientific research and development in cybersecurity, and qualifying the human calibers and expertise needed for activating cybersecurity in various sectors.
The Summit acts as platform for enhancing international cooperation, exchanging information and discussions on cybersecurity issues, and presenting the best practices adopted by cybersecurity centers, as well as computer emergency readiness methods. The conference also discusses the latest methods and programs for fighting cyber-threats, internationally, with which EG-CERT cooperates. This is in addition to discussing the latest practices in cloud security, Internet of Things (IoT) security, smart cities, and the future of securing applications in the era of digital transformation.