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Government launching a National Cyber Security Strategy

Publication Date: Sep 23, 2016
National Cyber Security Strategy

The Government, in collaboration with MITA, is launching a National Cyber Security Strategy. This strategy will serve as a framework to protect systems, networks and information on the internet, together with the people who make use of these services respectively.

During a press conference at MITA’s Data Centre, Minister Dr Emmanuel Mallia said that Malta was listed by the European Commission as one of the countries in the European Union which have developed quickly towards an economy and society that embraces the digital world. 

Nonetheless, Minister Mallia said that technology can be like a knife, that instead of being used for a good purpose, it can be used with bad intentions. For this reason, he said that while Government continues to promote and encourage the correct use of technology, at the same time wants to introduce a strategic framework which acts as a shield against potential threats that arise. 

Minister Mallia described the drafting process of the strategy, naming the publication of the Green Paper in October of last year which led to a nationwide consultation. He also described how this consultation eventually led to the writing of the first edition of the national strategy.

During this event, the Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the National Cyber Security Strategy, Mr Anthony Gatt said that the strategy had been proposed in Digital Malta – the National Digital Strategy for the years 2014-2020. He also said that it was requested by the EU Directive on the security of networks and IT systems which has just entered in force in the European Union. 

Mr Gatt also explained that the strategy is based upon four fundamental principles namely the respect towards fundamental rights and obligations according to Maltese and EU laws; the collective responsibility between Government, the private sector and citizens and the need for co-operation and collaboration between them; and the evaluation and risk-management required for the right measures to be taken in this sector.

Mr Gatt said that the strategy has six main goals which include the drafting of the organisational and strategic framework; the strengthening of the fight against cyber crime; the drafting and amendment of the legislative and regolatory aspect together with national security; initiatives which encourage measures to be take by the private sector; awareness and education; and co-operation and co-ordination in our country, on a European level and also on a global level. 

During the press conference, MITA’s Head of the Governance, Risk and Compliance Department, Mr Rodney Naudi gave an overview about the challenges addressed by this strategy, the principles on which it was drafted and the way forward for the strategy to be implimented and kept alive in view of the rapid pace of advances in the sector. 

Mr Naudi also described how different types of cyber attacks can be originating from different organisation or person which have different intentions. He also explained that in cyber security there are no boundaries and for this reason it is important that the necessary measures are taken to ensure that there is co-operation and co-ordination on a national, European and global level.    ​