DOHA: IctQatar has introduced two new policies that will better secure the use of government information and assets and setting security standards in the use of the BlackBerry smartphone.
The Government Information Assurance Policy and the BlackBerry Security Policy will both address information assurance in relation to existing and emerging technologies.
Both policies will particularly confront security issues on governance structure, risk management, third party security (outsourcing), security awareness and incident management.
Khalid Al Hashimi, Executive Director of Cyber Security at ictQatar, said the new policies are very crucial in the wake of rapid increase in usage of information and communication technology across the government sector that resulted in important government information being shared, stored and accessed in new ways.
Al Hashimi said the emerging technological trends made government more efficient and responsive, however appropriate actions must be taken to ensure valuable government information is protected and secured.
“In developing our policies on Government Information Assurance and for BlackBerry Security, ictQatar worked with other government stakeholders to ensure the policy met the highest security standards, while remained practical to implement, and flexible enough to be applicable to emerging technologies,” he said. The Government Assurance Policy specifies high-level information classification methodology for all government entities in Qatar, which allows for appropriate values to be ascertained, risks to be determined and appropriate protections to be applied.
The policy addresses three specific areas of threat: unauthorised disclosure, unauthorised modification and non-availability. Implementation of the policy across government entities will ensure compliance with the best international standards and keep the costs of information security to an appropriate level.
A manual developed by ictQatar to support implementation of the policy includes specifications on 25 domains, including both processes and technology specifications. The BlackBerry Security Policy sets out security standards for government agencies in terms of installation, configuration and use of the BlackBerry.
Its primary purpose is to enhance the security and confidentiality of government data and information that is shared over the BlackBerry infrastructure, much of which resides outside of Qatar.
The policy also includes guidelines for what types of information can be shared through BlackBerry services for individual government users.
Both policies are available on ictQatar’s website and have been distributed to relevant government agencies and authorities for implementation and compliance.