ITU’s cyber-security-focused entity IMPACT1 (International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats) established a regional Cyber Security Innovation Centre in Oman in December 2012. The centre is supported by the IMPACT headquarters in Malaysia and connects 21 countries.2
According to ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Oman was chosen as the location for the centre because ‘The Government of Oman is well known throughout the region for its strong commitment to cyber security.’3 Oman’s CERT (OCERT)4 has a solid reputation in cyber security awareness and training programmes, and has also been active in international (ITU-IMPACT) and regional organisations (e.g., Gulf Cooperation Council5 ).
The centre’s task will be to ‘localise ITU-IMPACT’s cyber security services in the Arab region’.6 Barriers such as language and culture are hoped to be overcome with the local impact of the centre. Moreover, the centre aims for a more efficient coordination of development and research, as well as for the frequent participation in exercises and initiatives that would enhance the region’s capabilities to deal with cyber threats.6
As the ITU-IMPACT coalition unites 144 countries, it is a feasible platform for providing cyber security support and services to ITU’s Member States and other organisations within the UN system.3 Besides playing a role in the debates on the future of Internet Governance, ITU continues to enlarge its cyber security network and underlines the need to raise awareness in different regions worldwide.
- ITU-IMPACT, http://www.impact-alliance.org/aboutus/ITU-IMPACT.html
- Information Technology Authority Sultanate of Oman, “Oman’s CERT designated as Regional Cyber Security Centre in the Arab world,” Press release, December 15, 2012. http://www.ita.gov.om/ITAPortal/MediaCenter/NewsDetail.aspx?NID=476
- ITU, “ITU-IMPACT establishes first Cybersecurity Innovation Centre for Arab region,” Press Release, December 19, 2012. http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2012/93.aspx#.UQFJUdUwb_Y
- Oman National CERT, http://www.cert.gov.om/
- Gulf Cooperation Council, http://www.gcc-sg.org/eng/