Launch of the National Cybersecurity Coordination Centre (NCC) for Malta
Cyber ROOT 2022, the cybersecurity conference held each year by MITA, hosted its 4th edition this Wednesday, 26th October 2022 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. This event brought together almost 600 attendees from different areas of the industry, including policy makers, academics and researchers, business owners, cybersecurity professionals from private and public entities, and inspiring professionals with an interest in cybersecurity.
The Cyber ROOT 2022 Conference launched the National Cybersecurity Coordination Centre for Malta (NCC), a great initiative to support the nation in achieving one goal – improving Malta’s cyber landscape. More information can be obtained by visiting the website – ncc-mita.gov.mt
Different speakers addressed multiple topics in this regard.
Keynote speakers Mr Tony Sultana – Principal Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Pascal Steichen – Chair of the ECCC Governing Board, and Mr Emanuel Darmanin – CEO at MITA, spoke about the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre, its role and how it aims to tackle cybersecurity across the EU, as well as the different initiatives that Malta is taking towards cybersecurity. MITA’s CTO and Head of Information Security and Governance Department, Mr Jonathan Cassar, followed to introduce the National Cybersecurity Coordination Centre (NCC) for Malta, its structure, responsibilities, and function.
Ms Katia Bonello and Mr Andrew Schembri engaged in a fireside chat about the National Cybersecurity Community, through which Ms Bonello – Project Manager at the NCC, introduced this initiative. The purpose of this community is to bring together individuals and entities that have expertise in cybersecurity related domains with the ultimate aim of shaping our cyber future.
Mr Martin Camilleri put forward the outcomes of the National Cybersecurity Study identifying the maturity of cybersecurity in Malta. This opened a panel discussion with Mr Patrick Cutajar from the Malta Chamber of SMEs, Mr Daniel Borg from the Gozo Business Chamber, and Ms Marthese Vella from the Malta Chamber of Commerce.
Ms Martina Bonanno, Analyst at the NCC, and Ms Yaneis Buhagiar introduced a new cybersecurity scheme that will be launched during the first quarter of 2023. This grant scheme intends to support SMEs in the implementation of state-of-the-art cybersecurity solutions.
Mr Kirsten Cremona moderated a panel discussion that addressed the skills gap. Mr Carm Cachia, Mr Mark Vella, Mr Conrad Vassallo, Mr Keith Cutajar, and Mr Grazio Grixti, spoke about the importance of addressing this gap that is currently presenting itself in the industry, and what different Maltese academic institutions are working on to aid in closing this gap.
Ms Deborah Schiavone, Senior Executive at the NCC, presented the upcoming activities of the National Cybersecurity Community, intended to facilitate discussions between the different Community actors.
Mr Dimitrios Patsos ended off the Cyber ROOT 2022 Conference highlighting the importance of local cybersecurity actors engaging in a National Community. From his experience, also from working at Microsoft, he explained how a common goal contributes to the overcoming of cybersecurity attacks. The increased preparedness by sharing best practices and lesson learnt between different actors, can create a higher probability of overcoming cybersecurity attacks that can impact us all.