Telecoms & IT

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Oman has made sure to mark cybersecurity as one of its top priorities, setting the Sultanate as one of the global leaders in the field.

According to the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) 2017 Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI), Oman is the fourth most-committed country in regards to cybersecurity with a GCI normalized score of 0.87 out of 1.0, only surpassed by Singapore, the US, and Malaysia. This score sets Oman as first among Arab States, where Egypt and Qatar trail by 0.10 and 0.20, respectively; Oman leads the Arab world in both legal and capacity-building pillars. As stated by ITU, “Oman has a robust organizational structure, including a high-level cybersecurity strategy and master plan and comprehensive roadmap.”

According to the Information Technology Authority (ITA) in regards to cybersecurity regulation, “the Sultanate established the eGovernance Framework, a set of standards, best practices, and process management systems to enhance the delivery of government services in alignment with the mission of e.oman (Digital Oman Strategy and eGovernment).” The framework spells out the rules and procedures that ensure that government IT projects and systems are sustainable and in compliance with the ITA strategies and objectives. It provides assurance of the value of IT projects and a framework for the management of IT-related risks. It helps in implementing controls to minimize risks and ensure better delivery of IT initiatives.
Oman officially launched the Oman Computer Emergency Response Team (OCERT) in 2010, which focuses on analyzing risks and security threats that may be present in cyberspace and communicates this information to users of internet services and technical information outlets, regardless of whether they are public or private institutions, or individuals. This team has helped raise Omanis’ sense of security, which increases trust when using government eServices. OCERT is also responsible for expanding and positioning the official eGovernment services portal.
According to Gartner, the cost of implementing IT security solutions has significantly increased “from USD75.4 billion in 2015 and expected to reach USD101 billion in 2018 and USD170 billion by 2020 globally, while the Middle East cybersecurity market is expected to reach around USD10 billion by 2019, double the USD5 billion it was worth in 2014.”
Furthermore, Oman hosted the sixth regional Cyber Security Summit in November 2017, which included renowned speakers. This conference also brought over 350 attendees from across the Middle East to form new partnerships, develop new policies, and identify latest technologies to combat cyber threats.

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