The official opening of the National CSIRT of Cyprus (Computer Security Incident Response Team) took place on Monday 25th June 2018 at the Team’s premises in Nicosia by the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Ms Vasiliki Anastasiadou. Also present at the ceremony were Mr George Michaelides the Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Postal Regulation, the Deputy Commissioner Mr Petros Galides and Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The National CSIRT is the Computer Security Incident Response Team at a national level, which is responsible for responding to the cybersecurity incidents in all critical infrastructures in the Republic of Cyprus, such as the energy and water providers, ports, hospitals and financial institutions.
In her address, Minister Ms. Anastasiadou said that the creation of a safe and resilient cyberspace is a major issue of national interest, with particular importance to the economy, commerce, public safety and our society as they increasingly depend on digital infrastructures and services and the Internet. The Minister then referred to the establishment of the Digital Security Authority (DSA), which is responsible for the implementation of the European NIS Directive on Network and Information Systems Security at a national level, with particular reference to the establishment of the National CSIRT which is the technical and operational arm of the DSA.
The state, as the Minister said, is encouraging and supporting the operation of the National CSIRT, which enhances internal security, prevention and preparedness as well as the effective response to incidents that could potentially affect the operation of critical infrastructures of both the public and private sector and the socio-economic life of citizens.
Mr Sanou of the ITU, praised the National CSIRT’s value and mentioned that its services will enhance the cybersecurity of Cyprus and contribute to the efficient handling of cyber-incidents at a national, regional and global level.
The Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Postal Regulations, Mr Michaelides praised the achievements of the National CSIRT and the goals it has set to ensure high-quality services, offered through the innovative implementation of procedures based on international best practices. The Commissioner also praised the efforts of the National CSIRT to achieve recognition by the responsible international organisations as an equal member of the international CSIRT network.
Finally, Mr Michaelides said that in 2019 the aim is to expand the National CSIRT in order to provide 24×7 services, as well as upgraded services to both critical infrastructure and other sectors of the economy, such as small and medium-sized enterprises, that are the backbone of the Cyprus economy.