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The Information Network Security Agency (INSA) reported that about 40 cyber attacks have been attempted on the country’s infrastructure and key institutions since June 2014.
Director General of INSA Major General Tekleberhan Woldearegay told the parliament that many cyber attacks had targeted the country’s key resources and organizations.
He said that his office works relentlessly to protect the country and its institutions from attacks, wherever they may come from.
“Most of the attacks are viruses that purposely target to destroy the country’s infrastructure,” Major General Tekleberhan explained. “If the attacks had been successful, the damage would have been catastrophic. However, we were able to intercept the attempts.”
The security chief noted that that a cyber attack can be attempted at anytime. He said that the agency has protected several institutions against attempts of theft, malware and service interruption.
The agency has also formed a collaborative center to protect the country from cyber attack, partnering with similar international organizations.
The Director General said that the country is spending billions of birr to protect information and communications technology facilities. He said that he hopes to minimize those costs in the future.
“The agency is working to develop key technologies to curb maintenance expenses for the agency’s equipment,” he added.
Accordingly, INSA has established a Public Key Infrastructure framework to further secure its networks and prevent potential losses.
INSA serves various public offices in cyber technology and overtook the Geospatial and Cadastre mapping service, which had been contracted to foreign companies in the past.
Major General Tekleberhan said that the country has saved hard currency that would have been paid to international firms, and it avoided sharing its data to third parties.
The agency has collected aerial data of 48,000 square kilometers of land in four regions. The agency bought its own aircraft to conduct such types of aerial operations. The agency owns a King Air 250 Aerial Surveying Aircraft, which was imported from the United States.
According to the cyber security chief, the fleet and cargo security system, which operates in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, the Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority, and transportation associations, manages trucks’ activity with 4,000 trucks currently connected to the system.
Eleven new projects worth 385 million birr have been undertaken by the agency on behalf of client organizations. The agency completed ten projects in the past fiscal year.
Major General Tekleberhan said that INSA is collaborating with authorities from the electric power sector on a project to establish a technologically advanced management system for the national power grid. The new system will allow electric power provision to be automated.
The Director General noted that the country is currently paying over one billion birr in satellite rent for media transmission, telecom and electricity distribution v-sat services. According to the head, the office is considering the possibility of owning a communications satellite.