IMPACT, ITU calls for borderless effort on cybersecurity


Concerted borderless cooperation is needed to tackle today's cyber-attacks, according to international agencies, the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU). This, in response to recent reports of more than two dozen attacks against prominent government websites in South Korea and the US.

Speaking at IMPACT global headquarters in Malaysia, chairman Datuk Mohd Noor Amin said: "Though the attacks, which included websites belonging to the White House, US Treasury, and the Pentagon, were small in scale and low in sophistication, these attacks could have been more destructive."

"Websites all over the world are constantly targetted by hackers, but increasingly, the number of critical sector websites and systems being attacked has increased," said Amin. "In recent years, large scale attacks on critical infrastructures have started to take place such as the cyber-attack that occurred in Estonia in 2007 that subsequently paralysed the country's entire critical infrastructure for almost two weeks."

"Due to the borderless and global nature of the Internet, no single country or region alone can protect itself from cyber-attacks and other forms of cyber- threats," Amin said. "In most instances, stopping cyber-attacks is a complicated process involving many different actors, geographical locations, jurisdictions and laws."

Established in September, 2008, IMPACT is the first comprehensive global partnership between governments, industry leaders and cyber security experts to enhance the global community's capacity to prevent, defend and respond to cyber threats. With its global headquarters in Malaysia's Cyberjaya, the organisation is the physical and operational home of ITU's Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA). This collaboration provides ITU's 191 member states with IMPACT's facilities and resources to address the world's most serious cyber-threats.

Concerted, coordinated

"It takes a concerted and coordinated international effort by all involved to effectively address this menace," said International Telecommunication Union (ITU) secretary-general, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré. "It is for this reason that world leaders entrusted ITU to facilitate the coordination of global efforts to build confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies."

The Global Cybersecurity Agenda (GCA) has been launched as a framework for international cooperation, said Toure, stressing the importance of all the parties involved to work together toward the common cause of securing the ICT world. "This need for a multilateral, multi-stakeholder and global approach to countering cyber-threats led to the collaboration between the ITU and IMPACT within the framework of the GCA," he said.

IMPACT's Amin added that besides having the support of key intergovernmental organisations such as the ITU, United Nation and international police agency INTERPOL, IMPACT enjoyed the backing of some of the biggest names in industry and academia.

"These include leading cybersecurity players, such as Symantec Corporation, Kaspersky Lab, F-Secure and Trend Micro; global IT giants Microsoft, Cisco and Dell, as well as leading cybersecurity training institutions like the SANS Institute, EC-Council and (ISC)2," he said.

This story, "IMPACT, ITU calls for borderless effort on cybersecurity" was originally published by MIS Asia.

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