Tuesday, August 15, 2023

In an effort to fortify the digital armor of government institutions, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) through the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a public notice advocating for the integration of firewalls and the deployment of endpoint protection across all government departments and public bodies with ICT infrastructure.

DICT Secretary Mr. Steven Matainaho, stressed the importance of this initiative: “Our digital landscape is under constant threat, and it is imperative that we take proactive steps to safeguard our sensitive data and infrastructure. The NCSC stands ready to assist and support all government bodies in enhancing their cybersecurity measures.”

The public notice highlights the dual measures of firewall integration and endpoint protection. Firewalls serve as a bulwark against external threats, defending the network from unauthorized access and potential cyberattacks. Endpoint protection, on the other hand, focuses on securing individual devices such as laptops, PCs, and servers, shielding them from malware and other malicious activities.

To ensure comprehensive protection, all public bodies are urged to utilize licensed antivirus software or endpoints. In case of any challenges during implementation, agencies are encouraged to reach out to the NCSC for expert guidance and assistance.

A notable feature of the NCSC’s capabilities is its Security Information and Events Management (SIEM) system, which seamlessly integrates with various firewall vendors. This advanced technology empowers the NCSC to vigilantly monitor, detect, and respond to potential threats, bolstering the overall cybersecurity stance of government bodies and public institutions.

Several government departments have already taken a proactive stance by connecting with the NCSC through endpoint rollout. Notable participants include the Prime Minister’s Office (PMNEC), the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government Affairs (DPLGA), and the Somare Institute of Leadership and Governance (SILAG).

In a move to ensure compliance with these crucial cybersecurity measures, Department and Agency Heads, along with their respective Digital Transformation Officers (DTOs), have been instructed to establish contact with the NCSC via email at info@ncsc.gov.pg. This collaborative approach guarantees tailored support in safeguarding the digital infrastructure of each department.

The National Executive Council’s approval of the National Cyber Security Policy 2021, as indicated in Decision No. 348/2021, underscores the gravity and urgency of this initiative. Additionally, the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) exercises administrative oversight of the NCSC, operating within the framework of Section 18 (4) of the Digital Government Act 2022.

The NCSC’s call to action serves as a resounding reminder of the vital role cybersecurity plays in protecting sensitive information and upholding the integrity of government institutions. By embracing these advanced cybersecurity measures, government departments and public bodies are poised to create a more secure digital landscape for the nation’s future.

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