Mr. Imad Hoballah, Chairman of Lebanon’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), delivered in Executive Magazine last week a damning verdict about the state of Cyber Security in Lebanon by stating that Lebanon has almost no Cyber Security.
This harsh but accurate verdict is of utter importance since we cannot hind behind our finger and pretend Lebanon doesn’t need to tackle such a vital issue for its economy, credibility and public / private critical assets protection.
For the record, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) was established in accordance with Lebanese Law 431 of 2002 as an independent public institution assigned to liberalize, regulate, and develop telecommunications in Lebanon.
The TRA’s duties are set out in full in Law 431/2002. These include to:
Encourage competition in the field of telecom
Ensure market transparency
Monitor tariffs and prevent non-competitive behavior
Act as a mediator and arbitration organism and to resolve disputes arising between licensees
Prepare draft decrees and regulations
Organize concessions, issue licenses, amend, suspend, withdraw and supervise execution of these concessions and licenses
Establish rules of interconnection and review contracts of interconnection
Formulate technical standards and procedures for monitoring compliance with these standards
Formulate standards and procedures for review of complaints and/or requests that might arise out of the present law and their resolution
Facilitate the use of telecom by educational and health care institutions and disabled persons
This clearly indicates that the TRA has the legal authority over Cyber Security in Lebanon.
Lebanon’s TRA recently launched a set of very important initiatives related to Children Cyber Protection. The TRA, in collaboration with World Vision, the Higher Council for Child Protection at the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Center for Educational Research and Development at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Himaya, YMCA and many others celebrated Safer Internet Day 2013 live from the Unesco Palace.
Let’s hope that Mr. Hoballah’s sounding alarm will set the stage for more commitment and resources to efficiently tackle Cyber Security in Lebanon.
Will we have a Lebanese CERT in the near future, capable of coordinating with the MENA and GCC regions’ national CERTs?
Let’s work hand in hand to achieve a much needed enhancement of our informational assets protection.