Inter-agency cyber security effort mooted for Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – A national cyber security strategy and a collaborative inter-agency effort and implementation mechanism has been recommended for Sri Lanka to deal with emerging threats highlighted by last week’s Ransomware cyber attack.

Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL), a think-tank under the Ministry of Defence, said the island needs to develop a framework to increase security awareness and education.

“While Sri Lanka fortunately encountered just one attack from Ransomware, there is a greater possibility that more severe damage could take place in the future as hackers would keep developing new systems that can penetrate any firewall,” it said in a statement.

“The most sensible and practical approach to such attacks is by educating users through comprehensive and simple awareness training from user level. It is also important as to how soon an attack can be detected and responded to.”

A cyber security forum the INSSSL held on Thursday, 18th May with experts in cyber security and information technology led to a suggestion to introduce a national cyber security strategy with inter-agency cooperation and cyber operation command centers.

“A collaborative effort and an implementation mechanism was recommended as right now in Sri Lanka, different components of cyber security fall under the purview of different ministries,” the INSSSL statement said.

It noted that government departments and staff using confidential information that is not secure itself is a threat to security.

“Therefore users themselves and individuals should have adequate knowledge and awareness to be proactive and not just reactive,” the statement said.

It also noted that rather than concentrating on external attacks, it is necessary to pay attention to possible internal threats and leaks and protecting mobile phones as well as computers.

“A suggestion for the government to set up a task force in collaboration with the private sector and formulate an action plan which includes sharing of and disseminating knowledge was well received,” the statement said.
(COLOMBO, May 22, 2017)





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