Holding an event of continental importance like the first European Games is a heavy responsibility, but Azerbaijan has assured its guests it will be able to guarantee all its guest absolute safety and security.
Information security in Azerbaijan is one of the most pressing issues in the light of the upcoming first European Games 2015 in Baku, said Ali Abbasov, communications and high technologies minister, on May 14.
Abbasov said the historic event is expected to see increase in number of cyber attacks, and the pressure in terms of information security.
“We have implemented a lot of projects to ensure that protection is total, and therefore we are fully prepared for this,” said the head of department.
In this regard, Abbasov noted the efforts of the country’s security agencies and structures operating in the field of IT, including foreign partners, have been mobilized.
The work on the preparation of the telecommunications infrastructure in Azerbaijan for the first European Games has been completed, he stressed, adding that test work have been successfully conducted.
“All the venues within European Games will be provided with qualitative voice communication and Internet services. All the necessary measures were taken for this purpose. The issue of international communication, which we were very concerned about, was recently solved.
The protection of radio-electronic means is also important. In addition, the European Games will be broadcast via satellite Azerspace-1, which resources will also be used to provide reliable communication,” the minister said.
Baku European Games are expected to attract over 6,000 athletes as well as 3,000 accompanying staff from 50 countries. The Games will present 20 sports, 16 of which are Olympic.
“Today, Azerbaijan acts as an initiator of the adoption of an international convention on cyber-security in the framework of the International Telecommunication Union,” Abbasov said at the second Republican Scientific-Practical Conference on Information Security.
The minister expressed regret over the fact that this initiative has not received the unanimous support of the international community, despite the fact that the problem is transnational, and countries are increasingly registering claims against each other in connection with frequent incidents in the virtual environment.
“Today, there is only the international convention of the European Union on cyber security, which Azerbaijan joined in 2008. The document on cybersecurity of the EU does not have a wide coverage. Azerbaijan as a member of ITU and IMPACT is the initiator of an international convention on cyber security. Unfortunately, the international community is hesitant when it comes to adopt a global convention on cyber-crime, due to internal incoherences” he stressed.
In 2012, Azerbaijan took the initiative to update its document on regulation of the ICT industry issued in 1988, which was supported by only 89 out of 197 countries.
In this regard, the issue remains open, Abbasov said.
The minister said there has been a 30 percent annual growth in the number of cyber attacks on information systems in Azerbaijan.
Ninety percent of cyber attacks are carried out from abroad, Abbasov said. Every week, about 2,000 personal computers and tablets are infected.
“Monitoring shows that 25 percent of devices of the country’s end-users are subject to risks of information security. The provision of information safety is a priority for the state in view of the increasing danger to critical information infrastructure, namely electricity network, finance, communications, water, defense, etc…,” he said.
In this regard, the minister said, Azerbaijan has both internal and external policies.
“Domestic policy is mainly aimed at enhancing regulatory functions and providing institutional development and compliance with international standards. The principle of shared responsibility is employed in this direction in state institutions, particularly in the security and law enforcement bodies of the republic,” said Abbasov.
“The state policy is aimed to ensure secure environment on the one hand, and on the other hand to give special attention to research in the field of cyber security and the construction and use of systems.
The National Academy of Science has the authority to conduct basic scientific and technological research and creation of real technological security systems. The structural units of the Academy are now working in this direction, the minister summarized.
Azerbaijan is the country of developing information technologies that wants to secure its development from all attacks. Some 70 percent of the population uses the Internet here.