MUSCAT: Oman’s cyber security is good but the online users should know how to be safe from threats, Tariq Al Barwani, a top IT expert and founder of Knowledge Oman said.
“Online users should be aware of possible threats and they should take steps to prevent them. However, in a bid to thwart the attacks, we should not depend on free apps and software,” Al Barwani said in an interview with The Arabian Stories.
On Thursday, The Arabian Stories launched the first episode of Spotlight, a celebrity talk-show featuring some of the biggest names in Oman. The first episode featured Tariq who candidly spoke about his incredible journey in the field of technology. The show is presented by Markaz Al Bahja.
Do not leak your information
According to Tariq, free apps and software will also steal information from systems. “The price we pay them is leaking our information to those who provide us free software. That’s the price we pay them. So, we should be more careful and cautious,” Tariq added.
Oman thwarted more than 880 million cyber-attacks on government networks in 2017, according to the Information Technology Authority’s (ITA) Annual Report 2017. A total of 1.41 million attacks specifically targeting government websites were successfully warded off in 2017, compared to 1.75 million in 2016, according to the report.
The Information Security Division (ISD), one of the ITA’s main divisions, which is responsible for the security of government entities, thwarted 1,411,043 cyberattacks against government websites. The ITA further discovered 1,859 spyware (6,416 in 2016) and 11,370 (7,824 in 2016) viruses and malware, with 2,459 real cybersecurity incidents reported by government and public successfully handled.
Best cybersecurity strategy
The report said that Oman was cited as a country with some of the best organisational practices thanks to its high-level cybersecurity strategy and master plan, and comprehensive road map. Its strengths include the organisational structure, legal measures, capacity building, technical and procedural measures, and regional and international cooperation.
“This could be true because of the role of Oman ITA and their continuous investment in cybersecurity,” added the report.