On the sidelines of its fourth annual Security Day conference, the IT solutions agency Digital Planets organized a discussion session on the importance of cyber security in supporting Egypt’s strategy and vision for digital transformation 2030.
Ahmed Ali, Vice President of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) for Cybersecurity Affairs, said that Egypt has felt the importance of having a center to receive and follow up Internet emergencies in 2008 after the incident of the Internet outage in Egypt that year, after which the Egyptian Computer Emergency Readiness Team (EG-CERT) was launched in 2009. It started operating with six people, and now there are at least 100 employees at the centre.
He explained that EG-CERT performs several functions, the most important of which is training government agencies on the principles of cybersecurity. “We have a plan to train all employees transferred to the new administrative capital, in addition to the role of the center in analyzing digital evidence, commissioned by the prosecution and judiciary. We have experts trained to extract digital evidence from electronic devices of all kinds,” he said.
The awareness process is also one of the main tasks that EG-CERT undertakes whether for children, women, or people with disabilities. It also offers training to development officials in all government agencies in light of the Prime Minister’s decision to establish cyber security units in each government agency.
In that framework, the first cyber drill was carried out in March 2022 to measure the efficiency of employees in 18 government agencies that participated in this maneuver. Statistics indicate that Egypt is one of the 20 largest countries vulnerable to cyber attacks, so any safety issues must be addressed immediately in Egypt’s technological system, in light of the presence of more than 150 technology services currently available on the ‘Digital Egypt’ platform.
Ahmed Ali pointed out that there is a shortage in the number of professionals trained in cybersecurity, so NTRA, through the EG-CERT, is in the process of establishing two excellence centres in the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport and El Alamein, to qualify human resources in the fields of cybersecurity.
Also, through EG-CERT, training programmes are available at the Information Technology Institute (ITI) in the field of cybersecurity. In addition, cooperation will take place with Egyptian universities in the fields of digital security.
He added that the process of international cooperation also falls within the scope of the EG-CERT in the NTRA. “We are also cooperating with several large countries and companies around the world in the field of cybersecurity,” he added.
He pointed out that NTRA is currently developing general policies for private companies to implement cybersecurity standards in light of the implementation of the digital transformation process. In addition, new regulatory frameworks are set for technological developments such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, 5G and other modern technologies.
Ahmed Hanafy, CEO of Digital Planets, said that the company is implementing a package of government projects related to energy, roads, bridges and others in the fields of cyber security. He noted that the company has more than one vision to implement these projects in the field of digital security, keeping pace with development in this system.
He explained that the digital security sector needs to be updated every hour. “This is why we have a plan for continuous rehabilitation and training in cybersecurity developments. This is our top priority. We have more than one training course in more than one language to deliver knowledge related to cybersecurity,” he said.
He also stressed that the top priority of the market in the field of cybersecurity is to maintain human resources in addition to studying the market in an accurate and continuous manner.