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Sun 16 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Etisalat joins security alliance

Etisalat is the first corporation in the Middle East and Africa to obtain membership into the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), a global alliance of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) which collaborates and shares information to protect members against online threats, viruses and hacking.

Etisalat is the first corporation in the Middle East and Africa to obtain membership into the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), a global alliance of Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) which collaborates and shares information to protect members against online threats, viruses and hacking.

The FIRST member community shares information, alerts and jointly coordinates incident responses and security teams around the world. Alliance members use their combined knowledge, skills and experience to promote a safer and more secure global electronic environment says the organisation's agenda.

When FIRST was founded in 1990 it had 11 initial members, currently, the non-profit organisation boasts of more than 100 incident response and security teams across several countries.

“Security is a global issue and Etisalat is taking the lead in the Middle East and Africa by joining FIRST. Our CERT team was scrutinized by FIRST for its ability to handle threat situations and to add value to other members. We are proud that Etisalat’s proven commitment to security was rewarded with our membership into this prestigious alliance,” says Khalid Al Kaf, Etisalat’s general manager network services.

Etisalat’s membership of FIRST is based on criteria such as dedicated security teams and the proven implementation of special security measures, based on quality procedures, methodologies and competency levels. In early 2001, the government telco created a dedicated IT security team in 2001, which helped it achieve the BS77999, an international standard for network security.

“Etisalat will work initially with the Government and law enforcement agencies to ensure our security arrangements protect the UAE at the highest level and we will then share our experiences with businesses and residential customers. Given that internet viruses and hacker attacks often occur out of the blue, global alliances such as FIRST give us vital hours, minutes or even seconds of advance warning, allowing us to be prepared at the first instance,” adds Abdulla Hashim, manager UAEnic.

The state-run telco believes with improved information sharing and setting up an early response network for emerging threats, it will be able to handle appropriate responses, translating to secure internet usage in the UAE.

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