Improving Oman’s response to cyber attacks was the goal of the country’s fourth National Cyber Security Drill, which involved 34 government agencies. Millions of attacks target Oman’s networks annually. The three-day drill, held in October 2017 by Oman’s Information Technology Authority (ITA) through its Computer Emergency Response Team (OCERT), tested the readiness of governmental institutions to fend off such attacks. It also enhanced coordination between OCERT and the private sector.
OCERT head Eng Bader Ali al Salhi noted that Oman had investigated more than 1,800 security incidents through the first 10 months of 2017. It has also issued hundreds of notifications to public and private entities to beware of cyber intrusions.
“ITA’s role is not limited to handling cyber incidents when they occur,” al Salhi said. “It goes beyond that by taking proactive precautionary procedures to avoid such incidents and mitigating their risks if they occur. “We urge all entities to follow up and adopt all cyber security policies and frameworks released by ITA and to benefit from information security warnings and notifications on cyber security threats and vulnerabilities.”
The OCERT drill focused mostly on analyzing incidents related to data leakage, hacking and other events involving the loss of information.
Speaking at the Annual Regional Cybersecurity Summit in Muscat in late 2017, Omani ITA Chief Executive Officer Salim al Ruzaiqi praised his country’s high cyber-security ranking as compiled by the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union.
“We are proud that Oman is ranked first among Arab countries and fourth globally,” he said.