Ethiopia: INSA Issues Cybersecurity Standards –

by Zelalem

FDRE Information Network Security Agency (INSA) issued a ‘Critical Mass Cyber Security Requirement Standard’ aiming at implementing the country’s information security laws and policies.

The mandatory Standard plans to make cybersecurity an integral part of government institutions and main task of government officials in order to build the cybersecurity capabilities of the country.

INSA Director General Major General Teklebirhan Woldearegay said the requirement standard aimed at elevating the weight of cybersecurity within leaders and ministers, where “each organization need to have a governance structure at the highest level that would oversee and manage cybersecurity.”

This means a governance system or structure that would manage information technology resources and govern IT acquisitions would have to be setup in each organization, he added.

Involving the top management in cybersecurity concerns, which are limited to technical level or IT department level in most cases, is one of the things the standard set to implement.

There needs to be institutional structure at the top level of an organization that is capable of handling cybersecurity, because what is causing problems is the tendency in most organizations to look at information technology and cybersecurity in the same vista, said INSA National Information Management Centre Head Temesgen Qitaw .

He added that while information technology tend to look at availability of information infrastructures, cybersecurity mostly deals with information integrity and confidentiality,

For the Director General, information integrity is important because of the role it has on decision making and public service delivery, and there are threats facing against that. “The main threat is lack of awareness, and then incompetence”.

The vulnerability of the country’s cyber infrastructure comes mostly from internal weakness – meaning lack of awareness – rather than foreign attack, and this standard will help address this issue.

In regards to creating awareness around cybersecurity, the Agency has already started a program segment on TV station that aims to rectify that, and General Teklebirhan believes that the standard document will also help in creating the environment and incentive needed to develop manpower in cybersecurity.

The standard also helps in increasing the public’s confidence in the country’s information technologies for the fact that the document outlines detailed responsibility of each organization regarding cybersecurity and bring with it accountability as well, said Abiyot Bayu ,Electronic Government Directorate Director with Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

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