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Kazakhstan Turns To Japan For A Boost In Cybersecurity

By Nazrin Gadimova February 27, 2020

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In 2019, Kazakhstan’s government agencies and private organizations identified at least 2.5 billion cyberattacks, according to government data. / Ernst & Young

As cybersecurity issues have long become an everyday struggle — whether viewed in economic, humanitarian, or national security terms — Central Asia’s largest country is partnering with Japan to outline best practices. 

On Tuesday, officials from a Japan-based multinational cybersecurity and defense company, Trend Micro, signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation with the Kazakhstani T&T Security company, to support a government-run initiative called the “Concept of Cyber Security” or “Kazakhstan Cyber Shield.” 

The partnership is poised to develop and implement local projects and initiatives in the realm of information security using existing Japanese solutions.

‘‘The introduction of our solutions will protect Kazakhstani enterprises and government agencies from the most complex cyberattacks, while support from the ministry of digital development, innovation and aerospace industry will contribute to further success,” said German Pozankov, Regional Director of Trend Micro, according to the company’s statement.

Established in 1988, Trend Micro develops enterprise security software for servers, containers, and cloud computing environments, networks, and endpoints. The company's cloud and virtualization security products provide automated security for customers of VMware, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform.

Meanwhile, officials at Kazakhstan's digital development, innovation, and aerospace industry agency believe that the recent agreement will give a boost to the country's security services and prevent cyber attacks that cannot be detected using traditional antiviruses and other security features.

“In addition, our country will come out to the world community from a new perspective — as a manufacturer of high-quality cybersecurity solutions,’’ said Ruslan Abdikalikov, a deputy chairman of the information security committee at the agency. 

‘‘At the same time, this initiative opens up new opportunities for both the export of Kazakhstani IT products and the entrance of global brands into the Kazakhstan register of trusted software products and the electronic industry,’’ he added.

According to the report issued by the International Telecommunication Union in 2018/19, Kazakhstan ranked 40 out of 175 countries in the Global Cyber-security Index, while Kazakhstan’s Caspian region neighbors Azerbaijan and Russia ranked 55 and 26, respectively.

As of the previous year, Kazakhstan’s government agencies and private organizations identified at least 2.5 billion cyberattacks, according to government data. Ruslan Abdikalikov says the activities carried out within the “Kazakhstan Cyber Shield” initiative help sustain resilience to cyberattacks.

‘‘This amount is growing exponentially every year. When we started doing this, the number of attacks was about hundreds of thousands. And back then it seemed a huge number to us,’’ he said Tuesday, according to a report by Kazinform.

A five-year plan is expected to strengthen already-existing state policy regarding cybercrime and is supposed to cover the period of 2018-2022. Prepared by the country’s defense and aerospace industry ministry in 2017, the document identifies a range of measures, including the audit of existing educational programs, training of new experts in the realms of information security, as well as the development of the domestic IT and electronics industries.

As part of the state program, the government has identified 336 most significant institutions, which must be protected from a potential threat. The list includes government agencies, banks, and industrial enterprises, and the government is planning to expand it.