First-ever National Cyber Drill on Saturday

| Updated: December 11, 2020 21:51:07

First-ever National Cyber Drill on Saturday

A total of 234 registered teams are set to take part in the country’s first-ever National Cyber Drill (NCD 2020) on Saturday.

The teams have already registered from the different financial and non-financial institutions, regulatory bodies, corporations, law enforcement agencies, different universities and IT firms. They were registered between November 18 and December 7.

The drill, which aims to enhance the skills of cybersecurity personnel and prepare them for possible disasters, will be organised on the occasion of Digital Bangladesh Day, by the state-run Bangladesh e-Government Computer Incident Response Team (BGD e-Gov CIRT) under the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology.

The day is celebrated across the country on December 12 every year to highlight the incumbent Awami League-led government's tech-bound vision.

At first, on December 12, 2017, the day was observed as National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Day. It was later renamed to Digital Bangladesh Day on November 26, 2018.

The drill is to help build resilience against growing cyberthreats. It will help create cybersecurity awareness and cultivate new crop of cyber-experts, said Tarique M Barkatullah, project director, the BGD e-GOV CIRT, and also director of the National Data Centre.

The drill will be the simulation of multiple incidents and issues that exist in real-life while the participants will handle the simulated cases of malware, ransomware and digital forensic, Mr Barkatullah told The Financial Express.

From 2021, the BGD e-GOV CIRT will arrange at least one drill in every two months.

The government formed the BGD e-GOV CIRT just after the incident of the Bangladesh Bank's reserve heist, in a bid to combat such incidents in future.

According to a study of the BIBM, only 38 per cent of the banks are fully equipped to combat cyberattacks, 34 per cent are partially prepared, and 28 per cent are totally vulnerable.

The incidents of cyberattacks are on rise at different commercial and service-providing outlets despite taking various preventive measures. It happens so, as the country has achieved good progress especially on the socio-economic front in the era of digitisation.

Due to a leap in IT-related crimes, the issue of cybersecurity has become a matter of serious concern among most of the government and private entities.

According to the BGD e-Gov CIRT, the number of cybersecurity-related incidents registered with the organisation increased to 870 in 2018 from 683 in 2017, while the number was 379 in 2016.

Of the attacks, vulnerability accounts for 63.2 per cent, intrusion or hacking 5.7 per cent, malicious code 22.5 per cent, abusive content 4.5, and the rest comprise fraudulence, intrusion attempts, service request, information security and others.

But the actual number of attacks is much higher, as a good number of commercial or service-providing outlets do not report such incidents to the state-owned special unit, insiders said.

Capitalising on weaknesses in the security system of the central bank, including the possible involvement of some of its employees, perpetrators were able to steal US$81 million, which was transferred to the Philippines on February 05, 2016.

Since the largest cyber-heist in the history of global financial forgery, the government took the issue very seriously, considering its damage to the economy, and formed the CIRT. After that, no major cybercrime took place in the state-run financial institutions.

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