The government is preparing a new and comprehensive cybersecurity blueprint to combat growing domestic and global threats, Transportation, Shipping and Information Minister Ahmet Arslan has said.
In an interview that was published in Sabah newspaper yesterday, Arslan said the National Cyber Security Strategy and Action Plan will have five strategic objectives, 41 separate action topics and 167 practical steps to bring Turkey into line with the best global practices.
The Cyber Security Council, which overseas actions taken to protect the country's security from internet based attacks, met four times until now, the minister said. He said the National Computer Emergency Response Center (USOM) was founded to coordinate public-private cooperation to combat cybercrime and 720 private sector-based Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERT) had been established already.
The KamuNet project, currently being implemented, will establish a closed circuit virtual network that will allow data transfers between public institutions while protecting them from outside interference, he added.
The ministry will launch one drill this year that will assess the capabilities of Turkey's cyberdefense against national threats while another drill next year will test its competence against international threats.
Efforts to build up a comprehensive cyberdefense network will go hand in hand with initiatives to create public awareness. The ministry also desires the establishment of a local interconnection platform, a cybersecurity glossary and an online cybersecurity training simulator.
There is also a plan to expand the scope of the actions that USOM and CERTs are allowed to take. USOM, which is responsible for negating each and every internet-based threat, will become an umbrella institution that has authority over all CERTs.
Companies that fail to take proper precautions against threats emanating from the internet will be fined, while new laws will compel every company to hire a full-time cyber expert against possible attacks. The government will also hire a 1,000-strong team of experts to protect the state.
The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), the communications watchdog, will also play a more effective part in the nation's cybersecurity establishment.
It will continue to oversee efforts to identify people and groups that promote terrorism and apply court orders for shutting down websites, but will also actively search for those who support, via social media, terrorist groups such as Daesh, the PKK, al-Qaida and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
The government will decide whether to increase the sentences for those found guilty of supporting terrorism on social media, a crime that currently carries a punishment of 7.5 years in prison.
Moreover, the legal basis of the protection of public information stored at state institutions will be passed by Parliament as soon as possible and experts hired will be sworn to keep institutional secrets.
Those who have access to private information will be closely watched and in case of any leaks, those guilty will be identified by the installed system. The BTK will be in charge of overseeing the conduct of cyber experts.