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CERT Coordination Center Partners With Qatar’s Supreme Council to Battle Cyber Risks

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December 15, 2005

DOHA, QATAR—The Carnegie Mellon® Software Engineering  Institute (SEI) CERT® Coordination Center (CERT/CC) and the Qatar  Supreme Council for Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR) today  announced a partnership to establish Qatar CERT (Q-CERT). Funded by the Qatar  Supreme Council, Q-CERT will serve as the national organization to conduct and  coordinate the comprehensive set of cybersecurity activities that will be needed  to protect Qatar’s critical infrastructures as cyberspace becomes the  nerve center of Qatar’s government, business and education operations.

“Carnegie Mellon, and CERT specifically, has worked with countries and  organizations worldwide to increase their research and development activities,  as well as increase their knowledge and experience in the protection of critical  infrastructures,” said Richard D. Pethia, director of the SEI’s  CERT program and interim team leader of Q-CERT. “We are pleased to partner  with the State of Qatar and the Supreme Council to effectively manage ICT development  in Qatar.”

“We are delighted to have the SEI’s CERT program here in Qatar,”  said Hessa Al Jaber, director of ictQATAR. “It’s intrinsic to ictQATAR’s  mission to bring Qatar in step with the best computing practices in the world,  and this helps realize our goal.”

Al Jaber added that “Qatar aims to fully promote information and communications  technology to become one of the most successful knowledge-based societies in  the world. To achieve this, Qatar will need to implement initiatives that successfully  manage the increased risk that comes with dependence on these powerful technologies.”

The plan for Q-CERT was developed during talks with Carnegie Mellon officials  who have established a campus in Doha to offer programs in business and computer  science. The goals of Q-CERT are to:

1. create awareness of cybersecurity in private-public institutions and the  public
  2. provide proactive and guided approaches for managing ICT security in the  civil society
  3. assist private-public stakeholders in managing risks and vulnerabilities  against the country’s information infrastructures
  4. ensure integrity and confidentiality of data crucial to the wide range of  online services that will be offered
  5. introduce cybercrime laws and privacy laws and educate the public on their  rights

Carnegie Mellon University Provost and Senior Vice President Mark Kamlet stated  that the university is excited about the opportunity to apply its expertise  in computer security to Qatar, particularly given the university’s participation  in Education City, where it is offering undergraduate Carnegie Mellon degrees  in business and computer science. “SEI’s CERT is the global leader  in computer security incident response and Q-CERT will be a top priority of  SEI’s most senior management,” Kamlet said.

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About the CERT Coordination Center
  The CERT/CC was established in 1988 at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering  Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the  U.S. Department of Defense. Since then, the CERT/CC has responded to more than  400,000 security incidents that have affected hundreds of thousands of Internet  sites, has worked more than 12,000 reported vulnerabilities and has issued hundreds  of advisories and bulletins. In addition, the CERT/CC has helped foster the  creation of more than 200 other incident response teams worldwide.

Today, the full CERT program engages in cutting-edge research and development  and provides a robust training and education program focused on ensuring that  software developers, Internet security experts, network and system administrators,  and others are able to resist, recognize, and recover from attacks on networked  systems, to limit damage, and to ensure continuity of critical services in the  presence of attacks, accidents, and failures.

About ictQATAR
  ictQATAR is the policy-making and regulatory body for information and communication  technology in Qatar.

ictQATAR’s mission is to promote the development of an advanced ICT society  through infrastructure and human capital development, the delivery of e-services  and the establishment of a regulatory environment that is conducive to sustainable  growth and offers benefits all users.

ictQATAR was established as the Supreme Council for Information and Communication  Technology by Emir Decree - Law No. 36 of 2004.

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Media Contacts: 

Richard Lynch

public-relations@sei.cmu.edu

412-268-4793

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