Turkey's need for cybersecurity experts grows amid increasing threats

Published 20.10.2017 19:29

Turkey is short of at least 30,000 cybersecurity experts, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Friday as the country tries to take measures against threats from cyberspace.

Yıldırım was addressing a conference on cybersecurity in the capital Ankara when he made remarks and added that the shortage was very concerning.

Turkey has been the target of several large-scale cyberattacks in the last 10 years. International hacker collective Anonymous targeted the country in 2011 and 2012 with attacks on the top telecoms watchdog. Hundreds of thousands of websites registered under Turkey's top-level website domain ".tr" also experienced problems with the distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyberattacks, which affected internet speeds for two weeks.

The prime minister said Turkey took several steps to attract more people to the cybersecurity field such as the introduction of classes on the matter at the schools to raise awareness. "In the next five years, the world will need about 1.5 million cybersecurity experts and for Turkey, we need at least 30,000 people. We ask the Turkish youth to take up the jobs in this field," he said.

The government is preparing a new and comprehensive cybersecurity blueprint to combat growing domestic and global threats.

Turkey lacks comprehensive regulations in combating cyberattacks but a new draft bill seeks to boost the cybersecurity capacity of the country. The bill will boost the authority of the National Intervention Center Against Cyber Attacks, which will coordinate small teams of security experts in critical public agencies and large private corporations. Companies will be mandated to maintain tight security against cyberattacks and hiring security experts. The new bill also introduces a framework for confidentiality agreements with cybersecurity experts who will be liable in the cases of leaks and security breaches. With cyberattacks increasing on its security, Turkey has turned to "white hat" hackers to bolster its defenses in cyberspace, setting up a task force. Experts say some 45 percent of computers in Turkey are exposed to cyberattacks and that the country is fourth in the world in the number of "compromised" computers.

The Ministry of Telecommunications already employs hundreds of cyberattack intervention crews, both for the public and private sectors, but authorities complain about the lack of skilled experts.


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