The regional center will be based in Doha.
The decision was made during the 15th ministerial meeting in Abu Dhabi recently, which reviewed a feasibility study from ictQATAR outlining how to establish national and regional CERTs. Ministers also recommended that Gulf telecom operators should publicize rates of mobile phone services in their respective countries.
Dr. Hessa Al Jaber, Secretary General of ictQATAR, welcomed the GCC decision, saying: “We are pleased that Qatar will be the host of this vital regional center, This move emphasizes the importance of protecting our countries against any potential cyber risk at a time when we are all becoming increasingly technology dependent.”
“The regional Q-CERT will be a collaborative effort, as no country will be able to mange its cyber safety unilaterally,” Dr Al Jaber added. “Qatar has realized the priority of this issue and therefore established its national Q-CERT initiative a year ago to protect its critical infrastructure and ICT dependent services”
The GCC meeting urged member states to move ahead with establishing their respective national CERT centers. In this context, ictQATAR will present a draft of the GCC charter in a cooperative meeting for the region’s CERT officials, being held in Doha from June 12 to 13. The two-day meeting will also discuss the mechanism to establish national CERTs and assist Qatar to prepare an MOU for GCC approval.
The regional Q-CERT, once founded, will be first regional center in the Middle East. Qatar’s CERT is the only national center currently operational in the Arab world, and is among 176 worldwide.
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