Doha, Qatar: Commencing on November 20 and extending until November 29, the National Cyber Drill is set to evaluate the resilience of Qatar's cybersecurity infrastructure. Led by Mohammed Murshid Al Mannai, Head of the National Cyber Initiatives Assurance Department at the National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA), the drill, titled "Secure Your Data," will engage approximately 170 crucial entities in the country.
Al Mannai highlighted that the cybersecurity drill, initiated in 2013 as a pioneering effort, has evolved into an annual event. The drill's core exercises serve as a vital administrative tool, focusing on identifying and rectifying gaps, assessing response and recovery strategies, and minimizing the societal, economic, and national cybersecurity stability impacts.
The primary objectives of the cyber drill are to measure the efficiency of participating institutions in addressing cybersecurity risks, evaluating the readiness of human, technological, and operational elements, and raising awareness about data privacy laws and their practical implementation.
The scenario forms a fundamental element of the drill, emphasizing the importance of creating a scenario that aligns with the latest cyber threats and hacker methods. Al Mannai stressed that the drill contributes to building lasting knowledge and awareness of cybersecurity incidents and their mechanisms.
As part of NCSA's efforts, it continuously shares threat and vulnerability bulletins to inform entities of new hacking methods, protection mechanisms, and vulnerabilities. Al Mannai underscored the proactive role of NCSA in raising general awareness about data protection and privacy through various training workshops, lectures, and consultations in collaboration with different entities.
Al Mannai affirmed that achieving cybersecurity depends on the collaboration between the National Cyber Security Agency and entities considered partners in securing Qatar’s cyberspace. The cybersecurity drill aims to enhance both educational aspects and awareness while identifying weaknesses or gaps within the participating entities.
The drill's outcomes include an analytical report showcasing the participating team’s ability to handle the outlined threats, identifying its position within the sector at the national level, and providing suggestions to overcome weaknesses. The cybersecurity drill serves as an experience for entities to test their technical and administrative capabilities in a secure environment.