Strengthening Oman’s Economic Backbone

Strengthening Oman's Economic Backbone

October 24, 2023 at 01:03PM

In 2020, Oman United Insurance Company SAOG experienced a ransomware attack, resulting in the loss of data. However, they were able to recover the data thanks to a robust backup system. Despite this incident, Oman’s cybersecurity stance improved in 2020 compared to the previous year, with a decrease in confirmed attacks. The Central Bank of Oman issued a new cybersecurity framework to enhance the resilience of the financial industry against cyber threats and promote stability in the market. Implementing this framework will help institutions safeguard against cyber threats and attract international investments.

Key Takeaways from the Meeting Notes:

1. On January 1, 2020, Oman United Insurance Company SAOG experienced a ransomware attack that resulted in data loss from December 10, 2019, to the day of the attack. Fortunately, the company was able to recover the lost data by January 2, 2020, due to a robust backup system.
2. Oman recorded a significant number of web application attempts and confirmed attacks in 2020, but there was a 13% decrease compared to the previous year. This improvement was attributed to intense security assessments conducted by the Ministry of Technology and Communication, which identified vulnerabilities and fixed them.
3. Oman has a well-established cybersecurity strategy, implemented since 2010 when the Oman Computer Emergency Readiness Team (OCERT) was launched. As a result, the number of attempted cyberattacks in Oman has significantly decreased over the years.
4. The Central Bank of Oman issued a new Regulatory Framework for cybersecurity and resilience in September 2023. This framework mandates licensed financial institutions to meet minimum requirements to enhance their ability to handle cybersecurity risks. It is organized into six control domains, including governance, compliance and audit, technology and operations, third-party supply chain management, online financial services, and risk management.
5. Implementing the new cybersecurity framework will enable banks and financial institutions in Oman to safeguard themselves from cyber threats, respond swiftly to incidents, and minimize potential damage. It will also decrease the likelihood of successful cyberattacks and promote stability in Oman’s financial market.
6. By implementing the framework, Oman’s financial industry aims to meet international security standards and potentially attract international investments and partnerships. It will also enhance customer trust by assuring the safety of financial transactions and sensitive information.

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