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Cabinet Approves Action Plan to Fight Cyber-attacks

The action plan to fight cyber-attacks submitted to the Government by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications was approved at today’s cabinet session. “We have come to a point where we can draw conclusions about what happened and define the activities for the coming year”, the Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts said.

The Government concluded that the cyber-attacks carried out against Estonia in April and May could not paralyze our normal daily activities. However, they are a clear sign that in the cyber-world such acts can be organised against a state, which in certain situations and when conducted on a large scale, could pose a significant security risk. The Government was of the opinion that an adequate response was given to these attacks.

First, the action plan seeks to improve the processes of preparing for emergencies in light of the cyber-attacks. A Cyber Defence Strategy has to be developed as well, which takes into account the special nature of the cyber-space and ties the latter with current security strategies. The existing Information Security Framework must be modified in line with this new strategy.

Secondly, the action plan emphasises the importance of information security of the state information systems. Even if the attacks this spring were aimed at disturbing the operation of the systems, i.e. the provision of services, possible future attempts could be directed towards the confidentiality of the state information system and the integrity of its data. Thus the action plan calls for significant attention to those aspects.

Pursuant to the 2004 Government of the Republic Regulation establishing a system of security measures for information systems, by 1 January 2008 each government authority must have determined security levels for its systems and have in place measures corresponding to such levels. The action plan sets out ways of implementing the regulation in an adequate and expedient manner.

The third aim of the action plan is to improve the legal framework and create a strong legal basis for fighting cybercrime. The action plan also defines vigorous international action. As one of its most important aims the action plan calls for signing and ratification of the Convention on Cybercrime by the world states.

The action plan was developed by a working party established by the Government upon the proposal of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in the middle of the month of May. The working party was led by the secretaries general of the Ministry of Justice, Defence, Economic Affairs and Communications, Finance, Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs, as well as the director of security coordination of the State Chancellery.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Defence, Internal Affairs and Justice will be mainly implementing the action plan.

Topic: RIA

Added 09.07.2007

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