[WATCH] National strategy to combat cyber crime launched

The Malta Information Technology Agency, together with digital services minister Emmanuel Mallia launch cyber security strategy, but insist that global co-operation is imperative

Digital services minister Emmanuel Mallia, at the launch of a national cyber security strategy
Digital services minister Emmanuel Mallia, at the launch of a national cyber security strategy
MITA launches new cyber security strategy to shield against threats

A new cyber security strategy will act as a shield against potential threats and protect systems, networks and information on the internet, as well as the people that use these services, according to Emmanuel Mallia, minister for digital services.

Mallia was speaking at the launch of a national cyber security strategy at MITA's data centre in Santa Venera.

He said Malta was listed by the European Commission as one of the EU member states which had developed quickly towards an economy and a society that embraced the digital world.

"But technology can be used as a knife and it can be used with bad intentions instead of serving good," he said.

"For this reason, while government continues to promote and encourage the correct use of technology, it also wants to introduce a strategic framework which acts as a shield against any threats that may arise."

Mallia said the green paper for the strategy had been launched in October 2015, followed by a nationwide consultation process.

Anthony Gatt, chairperson of the steering committee, said the project had been proposed in Digital Malta - The National Digital Strategy for 2014 – 2020.

It was also requested by the EU directive on the security of networks and IT systems, which has just come into force across the EU.

Gatt said the strategy was based on four fundamental principles: respect towards fundamental rights and duties under Maltese and EU laws, collective responsibility of government, the private sector and the public, the need for co-operation between them, and the evaluation and risk-management required for the right measures to be taken.

The strategy has six main goals, including the drafting of the strategic framework, the strengthening of the fight against cyber crime, drafting of a regulatory and legislative framework, encouraging initiatives by the private sector, awareness and education.

MITA's head of the governance, risk and compliance department, Rodney Naudi, gave an overview of the challenges addressed by the strategy, the principles on which it was drafted and how it is to be implemented.

He explained how cyber attacks could originate from different organisations or individuals with different intentions.

Co-operation on a national, European and global level were therefore imperative, he said.

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