The government is planning to set up a government CERT (GCERT) or digital government protection unit and a Citizen CERT and Military CERT to create a resilient, trusted Cybersecurity ecosystem and enable citizens to realize the benefits of digitization.
Furthermore, a National level survey to assess the Cybersecurity readiness of citizens will be conducted, Dr. K. Karunasena, Research and Policy Development Specialist at Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team (SLCERT) said at an event in Colombo. Plans are also underway to introduce the Data Protection Act and amendments will also be made to improve the Cyber Crimes Act. In addition, plans are afoot to develop Cyber Security Policy for the government, particularly the Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Policy and baseline security standards.
“We will set up a Cybersecurity Call Centre and a comprehensive digital forensic lab and National Cybersecurity Operation Centre,” he said.
Furthermore, it is planned to develop a competent workforce and Sri Lanka CERT has already started assessing the supply and demand side of cyber security professionals in Sri Lanka. To achieve this objective, a national level survey is to be conducted, to this end; CERT will develop a competency framework to outline the core competencies that the government and private sector staff would require when it comes to working in the Cybersecurity area.
“Also, we will develop national qualification standards with the help of the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission. There is another program to up-skill and re-skill opportunities for the private and public sector staff. Also, we offer specialized trainings for law enforcement authorities and tri- forces. Furthermore, scholarships will be provided for them to undertake post graduate degrees and professional courses.” he said. In addition, it is planned to expand the tertiary education by introducing diplomas and degrees and e-learning modules for cyber security.
Furthermore, career guidance workshops will also be conducted at schools across the country to raise the awareness among school children on the emerging career opportunities in the Cybersecurity domain.
A special attention will be given to develop the skills relating to the Cybersecurity among female students as well.
“In addition, we have already started discussions with the Ministry of Education to include cyber security into school syllabus and will work with the Ministry to increase awareness of Cybersecurity among school children.”
He said further that life-long learning opportunities will be available for anyone who would like to learn Cybersecurity and to this end; various courses will be offered through vocational training institutes, Nenasela Centres and Open University of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan government is also planning on enacting the Cybersecurity Act within the next two months in an ambitious drive to protect cyber space and citizens from emerging cyber threats.
The Act will provide for the establishment of a high level Cybersecurity Authority in Sri Lanka and also it will empower SLCERT. Accordingly, CSA will also be the apex institution for all cyber security related affairs in Sri Lanka and it will be established through the Cybersecurity Act.
The main functions and powers of the Agency will be to take all steps to implement the cyber security strategy, polices, action plans, programs and projects which are required for the implementation of the National Cybersecurity Strategy.
CSA will also act as the central point of contact for Cybersecurity information in Sri Lanka and will provide necessary advice to government agencies, private organizations in regard to Cybersecurity matters.