Posted on November 10, 2018

The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) said Qatar is one of the leading and first regional countries to run cyber drills depending on the national potential, which enabled them to transfer their knowledge and experience to other states during the drill. 

These remarks were made by Assistant Undersecretary for Cyber Security in MoTC Khalid Sadiq al-Hashmi on the sidelines of the press conference on the 6th National Cybersecurity Drill ‘Star 6’ organised by MoTC. A number or specialists in the field of cyber security and information technology from research centres and international companies spoke at the event. 

Al-Hashmi highlighted the importance of digital assets and the role of national cyber drills in protecting the state. He explained that the assets are very important in the current times and come as information, data, systems and information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructures by co-ordinating and unifying the efforts in exchanging information between sectors. He reiterated that this is one of the most important foundations of cybersecurity for the protection of all sectors of the state. Al-Hashmi added that the 6th edition of the event, which will take place in December, will be on securing major events from a cybersecurity aspect. He reiterated the importance of the topic which the drill will touch on, due to the importance of the events Qatar is hosting, led by 2022 FIFA World Cup. He stressed on the importance of achieving cybersecurity during these events. 

The assistant undersecretary said the first edition in 2013 was joined by 120 participants and 20 entities, whereas the upcoming edition is expect to include more than 500 participants and nearly 95 entities. The cybersecurity drills do not target operational sectors or departments it also targets departments that support IT departments, in aim to implement drills on sound institutional bases, all in pursuit for achieving cybersecurity through co-operation between different entities, sectors and departments. He added that for the 6th edition, the private sector is allowed to participate as it is an important sector in the supply chain of equipment and information technology. The private sector also plays a vital role in achieving cybersecurity, and its standards in achieving information security matches global standards. He added that the drills aim to raise efficiency. 

Al-Hashmi said that the national strategy for cybersecurity is based on three important elements: the human element, the procedural element and the technical element, stressing that all information security policies are issued by the state through various relevant bodies, workshops and courses in this regard. He added that this drill focused on the balance in the applying these three elements, with the aim of achieving cybersecurity and protection systems, pointing out that the legislation issued in this area may take a relatively long time, referring to the privacy of those legislation and related to cybersecurity and information systems.