Friday, June 21, 2019

Bangladesh turning focus to cyber security, ICT state minister

  • Joyanta Saha, back from Gazipur,
    Published: 2019-01-25 18:17:41 BdST


The government is focusing on digital security after spending a decade to set up infrastructure for ‘Digital Bangladesh’, Zunaid Ahmed Palak has said.  

"The digital infrastructure has been developed in the last decade, now it is time to ensure the digital security, said the state minister for Information and Communication Technology.

"We have a target to have at least one thousand cyber security experts by 2021."

The state minister was speaking to after visiting the Bangabandhu High Tech City in Gazipur. He went there on recently-launched commuter train.

A 2017 study on cyber risks facing financial institutions conducted by the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management shows that 28 percent of bankers are 'totally unaware', 22 percent are 'unaware,' and 20 percent has 'little idea' on cyber security.

It was the year before hackers stole $101 million from Bangladesh Bank's account with the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, stirring global attention.

Websites of various government offices have suffered multiple cyber-attacks, including that of the National Parliament and BASIS.

More than 200,000 computer networks in 150 countries were affected in a cyberattack in 2017 which the Europol called 'unprecedented.'

Such cyber security risks both in home and abroad will be considered while overhauling the cyber security system, said Palak.

The ICT department has identified 22 'critical information infrastructures' after forming a Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT).

"We have put sensor in the national CIRT and monitoring 24 hours. We have made a team including police, CID, detective branch and ICT division and providing training to it."

“Bangladesh’s cyber security used to depend on foreign consultants and experts. But they are no longer needed because we’ve built capacity at home,” he said. His office is also initiating a digital security agency.

Also, the ICT Division will put together Computer Incident Team, Cyber Security Agency and Digital Forensic Lab under the Digital Security Act.

"Human resource and capacity building is a continuous process and we'll keep continuing it," said Palak.

After visiting the National Data Centre in Bangabandhu High Tech City, he said the centre can begin commercial activities soon “as 99 percent work has been done”.

"Bangladesh can save 5 petabyte data in this centre; we can provide service worth Tk 50 billion," he told bdnews24.

Bangladesh wants to be connected in the 'information super highway,' said Palak. Bangladesh is now exporting 10Gbps bandwidth to Assam in India and has a plan to export bandwidth to Thailand too, he said.

"Internal Carrier Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN), Internet Gateway (IIG), International Gateway (IGW) -- if the VAT for these sectors is reduced from fifteen to five, then the retail price will be lowered," he said.

BTRC is working to reduce the price of internet, he said adding it us also working to increase the quality of the internet.