Qatar places immense importance on cybersecurity. Under a robust National Cybersecurity Strategy, the country has taken several measures to ensure the highest levels of cybersecurity are achieved.
Qatar ranks third-best in the region for cybersecurity, according to the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) 2018.
Additionally, the country will soon have a Cyber Security Academy, following an agreement signed between Qatar University and the British PGI Group.
In another major boost to the cybersecurity sector, Qatar will be home to the region’s first vetting lab for ICT products.
This was revealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday between the Cybersecurity Affairs Sector at the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) and TÜViT, a German company, and a subsidiary of TUV Nord that is a key player in setting international standards in Information Technology.
Known as the Qatar National Laboratory for Technology Vetting (Common Criteria Vetting Lab), the world-class lab will test products coming into the country for security, functionality, safety among other factors.
The lab is expected to further boost the levels of cybersecurity in the country.
Director of Critical Information Infrastructure Protection at the Cyber Security Sector at MoTC, Nora Yousef Al Abdulla, and general manager IT Security at TUViT, Frank Beuting, initialed the agreement at the ongoing Qatar IT Conference & Exhibition (QITCOM 2019).
“The MoU reflects our commitment toward building safer, smarter and more resilient digital cities. We believe the Technology Vetting Lab will be an asset to the country and will be at the heart of the cybersecurity sector in Qatar,” said Al Abdulla.
“In line with Qatar’s National Cybersecurity Strategy, we will be focusing on several product categories for different sectors including oil and gas, IoT, smart cities and autonomous vehicles,” she said, adding that QITCOM 2019 served as a launchpad for the announcement of the lab.
The lab process begins with vendors submitting a request to check hardware and software products.
The lab conducts an extensive investigation into the products and issues certificates as needed.
The entire process is said to take about six months to one year for each product.
Dirk Kretzschmar, managing director, TUViT, said, “Qatar’s focus on cybersecurity propelled us to work with them on one of the most integral and exciting projects in the GCC, considering this will be the first lab we will help set up in the region.”
“The first phase of the lab is in its final stages and nearing completion. We are looking forward to making it operation-ready by the end of Q4 – 2019,” he mentioned.
The security lab has been built to ISO standards and will be audited every two years.
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