Turkey's National Security Council determines strategy for cybersecurity
by Merve Aydoğan
ANKARAFeb 01, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Merve Aydoğan
Feb 01, 2016 12:00 am
Over the past year, Turkey had been targeted by the most intense cyberattacks it has seen, resulting in the collapse of online systems and causing many major banks to temporarily shut down their websites, leading the National Security Council (MGK) to finalize its strategy to tackle any possible future cyberattacks. During an MGK meeting on Thursday, council members decided on a new cybersecurity strategy based on two main structures, including the protection of information systems and immediate counterattacks to possible threats. As the previous cyberattacks caused bank systems and various public institutions to collapse, the new strategy will mobilize all public institutions and the private sector to take part in cybersecurity.
As part of the new strategy, there will be new criteria required for those applying for data processing units in public institutions. This will include security checks to scrutinize applicants based on the applicant's expertise and trustworthiness. It was recently discovered that in the information sector there are insufficient human resources, experts and private companies. In Turkey the majority of foreign-based security companies include domestic security companies that are allegedly affiliated with the Gülen Movement. Sources have said that there will be incentives in place – some financial – in the near future to establish an enhanced domestic product, increase company capacity and human resource capabilities.
According to MGK reports on cybersecurity, council members underline the necessity of including all institutions and organizations that contain critical information and infrastructure within the cybersecurity strategy. While there are claims that Russia is responsible for the cyberattacks Turkey experienced shortly after its downing of a Russia aircraft that violated its airspace, experts have told local media that it is difficult to identify the culprit in such cyberattacks.
In addition, reports presented during the MGK meeting have said that cyberattacks reached their highest rates from Dec. 17 to Dec. 25 last year. Transportation, Maritimes and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım provided a comprehensive briefing to MGK members on cybersecurity. It has been reported that during Yıldırım's briefing, detailed information regarding these security measures will be taken in the near future. Furthermore, the Cyber Security Committee is to be put into effect in the upcoming days with Yıldırım as chairman.