National-level efforts to fight against cyber terrorism are not enough to overcome the global problem that threatens many economic sectors, according to speakers at an IT session at the Eurasia summit. They agree on the need for international cooperation. ‘Cyber defense is as strong as its weakest link,’ says a speaker
Participants listen to a speech during a special session on information technology and the defense industry on the last day of the summit. DAILY NEWS photos, Emrah GÜREL
Communication leaders and experts highlighted the importance of awareness and coordination in the fight against cyber terrorism and cyber-attacks during separate speeches at a 16th Eurasia Summit session on information and communication technologies, security and defense yesterday.
Efficient partnerships and high-level drills are necessary to keep a strong defense mechanism against rising cyber threats, Turkish telecom watchdog BTK Vice President Muharrem Çöl told guests during his speech. Technical precautions are no longer enough for a proper defense, but awareness and sharing of experiences are a must, too, he added.
International Information Technologies Lawyers’ Association head Sylvia Kierkegaard also highlighted the importance of fruitful cooperation against cyber threats, referencing the coordination between states and governments of European Union
countries. “All those strategies can be applicable to other countries as well,” Kierkegaard said. “All economic sectors now depend on cyber systems, even systems of health and water depend on it, too.”
Kierkegaard said there was a new European initiative that aimed to better define cybercrimes and possible punishments that would be given to them within “strong effective legislations.”
Representatives of Turkey’s leading communication companies, including those from the three mobile operators Turkcell, Avea and Vodafone, as well as land phone operator Türk Telekom, were all present during the panel and repeated the need for national and international coordination to fight off threats.
Turkcell Chief Corporate Strategy & Regulations Officer Tayfun Çataltepe said drills that have been previously organized at the national level by the BTK needed to continue with increasing efficiency and context.
Turkey eyes more contact with Eurpean operators
“We need to be in constant contact with European operators in sharing experiences,” Cataltepe said. “Everyone should take necessary measures for their companies’ infrastructure, but the drills need to go on and coordination is a must.”
Türk Telekom’s legal director, Can Esen, said criminals had the chance to avoid punishment due to the elusive definition of cyber crimes, but national regulations would not be enough to change the current situation. “For an efficient fight, however, we need a common awareness and common investigations,” Esen said. “Each country needs to undergo proper regulations to handle this.”
Vodafone Executive Board Chairman Selçuk Karaçay said each company was as strong as the weakest link in the chain, which made independent inspections and international drills highly important for the safety of all companies.
European Economic and Social Committee representative Marius Eugen Opran also repeated the need to strengthen the weakest unit in order to fully fight against cyber threats.
“Cyber defense is as strong as its weakest link,” Opran said