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Press Release

Contact:
Kelly Kimberland
412-268-4793

For immediate release:
December 15, 2005

Carnegie Mellon's CERT Coordination Center Partners With Qatar's Supreme Council to Battle Cyber Risks


Richard D. Pethia, director of the SEI's CERT program, will be the interim team leader of Q-CERT.
DOHA, QATAR—The Carnegie Mellon® Software Engineering Institute (SEI) CERT® Coordination Center (CERT/CC) and the Qatar Supreme Council for Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR) today announced a partnership to establish Qatar CERT (Q-CERT). Funded by the Qatar Supreme Council, Q-CERT will serve as the national organization to conduct and coordinate the comprehensive set of cybersecurity activities that will be needed to protect Qatar's critical infrastructures as cyberspace becomes the nerve center of Qatar's government, business and education operations.

"Carnegie Mellon, and CERT specifically, has worked with countries and organizations worldwide to increase their research and development activities, as well as increase their knowledge and experience in the protection of critical infrastructures," said Richard D. Pethia, director of the SEI's CERT program and interim team leader of Q-CERT. "We are pleased to partner with the State of Qatar and the Supreme Council to effectively manage ICT development in Qatar."

"We are delighted to have the SEI's CERT program here in Qatar," said Hessa Al Jaber, director of ictQATAR. "It's intrinsic to ictQATAR's mission to bring Qatar in step with the best computing practices in the world, and this helps realize our goal."

Al Jaber added that "Qatar aims to fully promote information and communications technology to become one of the most successful knowledge-based societies in the world. To achieve this, Qatar will need to implement initiatives that successfully manage the increased risk that comes with dependence on these powerful technologies."

The plan for Q-CERT was developed during talks with Carnegie Mellon officials who have established a campus in Doha to offer programs in business and computer science. The goals of Q-CERT are to:

  1. Create awareness of cybersecurity in private-public institutions and the public;
  2. Provide proactive and guided approaches for managing ICT security in the civil society;
  3. Assist private-public stakeholders in managing risks and vulnerabilities against the country's information infrastructures;
  4. Ensure integrity and confidentiality of data crucial to the wide range of online services that will be offered;
  5. Introduce cybercrime laws and privacy laws and educate the public on their rights.

Carnegie Mellon University Provost and Senior Vice President Mark Kamlet stated that the university is excited about the opportunity to apply its expertise in computer security to Qatar, particularly given the university's participation in Education City, where it is offering undergraduate Carnegie Mellon degrees in business and computer science. "SEI's CERT is the global leader in computer security incident response and Q-CERT will be a top priority of SEI's most senior management," Kamlet said.

About The CERT Coordination Center

The CERT/CC was established in 1988 at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. Since then, the CERT/CC has responded to over 400,000 security incidents that have affected hundreds of thousands of Internet sites, has worked over 12,000 reported vulnerabilities and has issued hundreds of advisories and bulletins. In addition, the CERT/CC has helped foster the creation of over 200 other incident response teams worldwide.

Today, the full CERT program engages in cutting-edge research and development and provides a robust training and education program focused on ensuring that software developers, internet security experts, network and system administrators, and others are able to resist, recognize, and recover from attacks on networked systems, to limit damage, and to ensure continuity of critical services in the presence of attacks, accidents, and failures.

About ictQATAR

ictQATAR is the policy-making and regulatory body for information and communication technology in Qatar.

ictQATAR's mission is to promote the development of an advanced ICT society through infrastructure and human capital development, the delivery of e-services and the establishment of a regulatory environment that is conducive to sustainable growth and offers benefits all users.

ictQATAR was established as the Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology by Emir Decree - Law No.36 of 2004.

Issued on behalf of ictQATAR by Hill & Knowlton Qatar LLC. For further information, please contact: Fran McElwaine (Hill and Knowlton) at +974 582 8980 and e-mail: fran@hillandknowlton.com Or for ictQATAR contact Elaine Farah at +974 446 1427 and e-mail: elaine@ict.gov.qa

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