ITU drives safer cyberworld

The ITU has partnered with global organisations in a campaign to make cyberspace safer.

In a statement released today, the ITU said it had cemented new global partnerships designed to make cyberspace a safer, more secure place to be for consumers, businesses, and – most crucially – children and youth.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed between ITU and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at this year’ s WSIS Forum event in Geneva will see the two organizations collaborate in assisting ITU and UN Member States mitigate the risks posed by cybercrime.

The MoU will enable the two bodies to work together to make available the necessary expertise and resources to establish legal measures and legislative frameworks at national level, for the benefit of all interested countries. It is the first time that two organizations within the UN system have formally agreed to cooperate at the global level on cybersecurity.

“ This new alliance with UNODC is a major milestone in implementing a coordinated global approach to an increasingly serious global problem. Together, our two agencies will generate powerful synergies that will help all interested countries fight the scourge of cyberthreats and cybercrime and create a safer online environment for all,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré .

In line with its tradition of public-private partnership, ITU has also signed an MoU with Symantec, a provider of security, storage and systems management solutions.

ITU will use Symantec’ s security intelligence, in the form of its quarterly Internet Security Threat Reports, to increase understanding of and readiness for cybersecurity risks.

By distributing this report – which captures data from across Symantec’ s Global Intelligence Network – to interested Member States, ITU aims to help better prepare governments in developing and developed nations alike to respond to the ever-growing risk from malware, cyber attackers and information thieves. This will facilitate awareness raising and knowledge transfer, complementing the work of ITU and strengthening its effectiveness as a global forum for governments and private sector to build confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

Commenting on the partnership, Enrique Salem, President and Chief Executive Officer of Symantec, said: “ Over the past year and a half, the researchers that make up Symantec’ s Global Intelligence Network have noted a dramatic increase in the number of cyberattacks, as well as the growing sophistication and impact of threats. The partnership between ITU and Symantec will facilitate an increased understanding of cybersecurity risks and how they can be reduced, increasing confidence in new and emerging technologies and facilitating the evolution of the digital world.”

Further reinforcing ITU’ s efforts in this area, ITU’ s work and relations with IMPACT continue to gain momentum, with over 130 ITU Member States now part of the ITU-IMPACT coalition.

ITU-IMPACT is the first cooperative global venture to make available cybersecurity expertise and resources to enable interested Member States to detect, analyze and respond effectively to cyberthreats. Of particular benefit to developing countries and smaller states without the capacity and resources to develop their own sophisticated cyber response centres, the coalition also benefits technically advanced nations by providing them with a global snapshot of potential and real online threats.

ITU-IMPACT members enjoy:
•                 Access to the IMPACT Global Response Centre (GRC), the foremost cyberthreat resource centre in the world for global threat information, at no cost.
•                 Access to the Electronically Secure Collaboration Application Platform for Experts (ESCAPE), allowing experts across different countries to share their knowledge and best practices with regard to cybersecurity, as well as facilitate the mitigation of cyberattacks, at no cost.
•                 On-site assessments and elaboration of implementation strategies for the establishment of the Computer Incidents Response Teams (CIRTs). To date 24 countries have been assessed, and work is in progress to move to the implementation phase.  
•                 Specialized cybersecurity capacity building programmes to arm Member States and international agencies with relevant knowledge to face and prevent cyberthreats. To date, more than 200 cybersecurity professionals and 50 law enforcement officers have received specialist training. In addition, 155 training scholarships to 29 partner countries globally have been provided.
ITU-IMPACT also offers Managed Security Services to the UN family of agencies.

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