Nepal Telecommunications Authority
MEDIA BRIEFING ON
1. Making Internet a Safer place for Nepal
2. ITU-NTA raise Cybersecurity awareness
2 September 2015
In the second decade of the 21st century we now live in a hyperconnected world, where almost everyone and almost everything – is connected to information and communication technologies, ICTs. Indeed, there are as many subscription of cellular subscriptions worldwide as the population of the world, and there are already over 3 billion people online.
Unfortunately, hyperconnectivity has not come without risks and disadvantages with growing issues of cybersecurity .Cybersecurity has already taken huge toll on the global economy: Some of the common examples include online fraud, identity theft, lost intellectual property affecting governments, companies and individuals around the world inflicting damage on the innocent, on the vulnerable, and on our children.
We need to address these issues, because in the world today everything depends on ICTs – and particularly on the networks which underpin them. This includes emergency services; water supplies and power networks; food distribution chains; aircraft and shipping; navigation systems; industrial processes and supply chains; healthcare; public transportation; government services; and even our children’s education.
Nepal has also been a target of cyberattacks. There have been reported cases of web defacement and advanced persistent threats aimed towards the websites of government and companies. Many of these incidences goes unreported but often identified by the global cybersecurity communities and mentioned in news and blogs. The adoption of proactive and reactive measures is vital in order to identify, manage and mitigate these risks.Cybersecurity awareness programme lies at the heart of all efforts to protect the cyberspace.
One of the key concerns is that the internet users may not have the necessary skills or knowledge to identify and manage these online risks. As global reports of threats continue to take the limelight in the global media with increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber threats it is vital for the internet users to be aware and understand the threats in cyberspace. It is understood that online risks cannot be completely eliminated as perpetrator and attackers are usually able to adopt new strategies to attack and increase its complexity to the extent where it is likely to be undetected or unidentifiable. In order to build the confidence and trust in use of ICT, users need to be fully aware in identifying the threats and understanding their weaknesses.
Mr. Sameer Sharma, Senior Advisor, ITU quoted “As a specialized agency, ITU provides a global forum for discussing cybersecurity, and has been entrusted by world leaders to facilitate international dialogue and cooperation through its Global Cybersecurity Agenda to develop a comprehensive and inclusive international framework for cooperation with the international community aimed at building a common understanding on ways of ensuring peace and stability in cyberspace.”
NTA Chairman, Mr Digambar Jha said that NTA has given high priority for cybersecurity. He also added that the government of Nepal through the Ministries of Information and Communications, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and Ministry of Home Affairs have taken up this issue and have formed committees of experts to prepare reports to address pressing policy, strategic, legal and institutional as well as operational aspects of cybersecurity. NTA represents all these committees. He further added that NTA in collaboration with the ITU is formulating comprehensive National Cybersecurity Strategy for Nepal in this FY.
There is a need to have continuous effort in reducing risk faced by users from various age groups and background. Children’s exposure to risk can be reduced by monitoring and controlling their access, applying parental controls and monitoring techniques, age verification methods and children-only social networking sites are some of the ways that this can be achieved. Children need to be empowered by their parents and teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills for them to stay safe online. Parent and teachers who are not tech-savvy limits their opportunity to educate on them of the risk faced and the issues they may encounter.
In a world where mobility is key and crucial, we see more users turning to mobile devices to perform their business transactions and daily routine. This exponential growth of mobile devices using wireless connectivity using 3G and 4G (including access through WiFi) has now become the new playing field for cyber criminals to exploit. This growing concern needs to be addressed as users may be unaware of potential security risks associated with their mobile devices which can be detrimental especially to an organisation where its users carry confidential information and perform critical business transactions.
Social media, extremely fast growing platform has raised security concerns as cyber criminals have started exploiting this mass population where personal information and privacy breaches are not given much attention until something goes wrong.
Recognising the significance and the importance of raising security awareness to further enhance socio and economic development, the Ministry of Information and Communication and Nepal Telecommunications Authority under the technical collaboration of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (United Nations Specialised Agency for Telecommunications and ICT) has planned to carry out National Cybersecurity Awareness workshop on 2nd September, 2015 at Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu. The major stakeholders including ministries, ICT service providers, specialized institutions for ICTs, academia and relevant non-government agencies have been invited to participate in the workshop. There will be latest information sharing presentations from by ITU, NTA, relevant organizations and industry.This programme addresses the most pressing and key areas of concerns with today’s Internet users from businesses, organisations to users, and from desktop users to mobile users. Areas such as social media security, mobile security, malware infections, Child Online Protection (COP) and secure communication among the key areas will be addressed. ITU will prepare a report to identify gaps and make recommendations for implementing a National Cybersecurity Awareness Programme. Various stakeholders will be engaged to ensure the success of this initiative for the benefits of the people, businesses and organisations.
Hiranya Prasad Bastakoti, Assistant Director (ICT Development and International Relation), Engineering Section, Nepal Telecommunications Authority, Kamaladi, Kathmandu, Nepal
Phone: +977-1-4255474 ;E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org