Turkey promotes indigenous ‘Cyber Security Cluster’: Defense industries head

Turkey promotes indigenous ‘Cyber Security Cluster’: Defense industries head

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Turkey promotes indigenous ‘Cyber Security Cluster’: Defense industries head

Turkey has promoted the establishment of a “cyber security cluster,” made up of local companies that produce software and hardware, aiming to make indigenous products dominant in the country, head of the defense industries presidency said.

“The main focus is to involve these companies to the indigenization of software and cyber security area in Turkey which has become very extensively a market of foreign products,” Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) Chair İsmail Demir told a group of journalists.

Currently, more than 180 companies are in this cluster, the official added.

“We wanted to start a cyber security cluster as a civil initiative. Because we wanted to take a step back and focus on their capabilities, rather than discussing which state institution was responsible for, how far it has authority, who will do what,” Demir said.

They aimed to bring these capabilities together - some of which are companies that produce similar products - to create opportunities for them to collaborate as much as although they are competitors, he emphasized.

“Making use of their products is something that will end this foreign product dominance,” Demir said.

Raising awareness for the use of these products, encouraging organizations - primarily state-owned- for the use of these local cyber security products, supporting these companies if their products have problems or deficiencies so that keeping them utilizable are among the goals for creating this clustering, he stated.

The official stressed the importance of some strategic organizations, such as GSM operators, and the use of indigenous products and said when one country “entrust the infrastructure of these systems to foreigners, it gives a huge security flaw.”

Some of these enterprises are very small scale, therefore permanency and upgrade of their products should be ensured so that the customers would not suffer for relying on them, Demir said.

The Defense Technologies Engineering and Trade Inc. (STM) coordinates and leads this cluster as a watchdog agency. The STM defense technologies will provide the necessary support for these firms if needed for long-term use of their products, he added.

The STM, whose 34 percent of shares are owned by the defense industries presidency, has been part of Turkey’s defense industry in the fields of engineering, technology and consultancy for more than a quarter-century.

The company works on naval and air platforms, information technologies, cybersecurity solutions, satellite systems, autonomous drone systems and artificial intelligence for Turkey and foreign markets.

STM is operating Turkey’s first “Cyber Fusion Center” which reports the cyber-attacks against domestic and foreign threats ex-ante.

The Cyber Fusion Center consists of three main integrated centers: Cyber Threat Intelligence Center, Cyber Operations Center and Malware Analysis Laboratory (Z-Lab), Özgür Güleryüz, the general manager of the STM, said.

The center not only detects the attacks but also works on intelligence for possible attacks and reports them to its customers, including the Turkish Armed Forces.