Qatar on Sunday strongly pitched for unifying the legislative framework across the countries to protect electronic banking transactions and prevent cyber criminals take advantages of "gaps" in certain countries.
A clarion call to this effect was made by HE the Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi at the fifth Information Security Conference, which was inaugurated by HE the Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.
Highlighting that the shift to digital banking has led to several risks at different levels of banking, including the payment and settlement system, customer data and the infrastructure of information networks within banks, which could threaten the loss of confidence in the banking system, al-Emadi said "this situation requires close co-operation between government agencies and the banking sector and information technology institutions to develop an integrated vision on how to co-ordinate efforts to address the electronic risks."
Asserting that Qatar has recognised the importance of information security in the financial sector, which plays an important role in the economy, he said several years ago the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior had established the National Cyber Security Committee, specialised in the preparation of information security policies and programmes.
Its members include representatives of all ministries and sectors in the country to co-ordinate and co-operate among it to implement policies and plans to provide a high level of information security and contribute to tackling any attempts to hack the electronic systems of the state.
At the international level, Qatar government is also working in co-ordination with international and regional organisations to enhance information security efforts and benefit from international expertise in this area and to apply the best international standards and practices, said al-Emadi, who was the former chief executive of the country's largest public sector lender QNB.
He said the world is currently witnessing an important development of cyber crimes of all kinds, as new and sophisticated methods have been developed as a result of the tremendous progress and development in the field of technology and means of communication and associated systems, which has doubled international efforts to reduce its spread and reduce the risks of surrounding information security.
Guillermo Christensen, Partner in the White Collar Defence and Government Investigation Group and Chair of the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Practice at Brown Rudnick, highlighted challenges faced by vital infrastructure, especially in the information security for private sector companies.
He stressed on the importance of co-ordinating efforts between the public and private sectors, especially as governments have more information than the private sector and therefore have to help the private sector companies to expand information security to ensure the privacy of users and customers and reduce vulnerability to cyber-attacks.
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