Azerbaijan works toward cyber-security
By Nigar Orujova
In today’s world where the issue of security transfers to the virtual reality, superpowers blame each other over allegation of cyber terror - cyber spies are now the new danger.
A global system of the Internet that now links several billion devices worldwide has experienced sustained exponential growth from the early 1990s.
The rapid development of technology and the widespread use of computer devices are changing the world every day and thus challenge all and every entity involved to rethink safety. Everything is now connected to the Internet and its danger may affect anyone.
Today, Azerbaijan is one of the leading countries implementing high technology in the region. The country is confidently striving to enter the world’s ICT race.
In Azerbaijan, internet penetration started its victorious conquest some 10 years ago, as the country’s economy stabilized after gaining independence. Today, over 70 percent of Azerbaijan's population has access to the Internet and 50 percent are broadband internet users - twice the world average.
The country is now developing its broadband Internet project, which aims to bring Azerbaijani Internet to the level of developed countries by 2017.
This is a new challenge for Internet users in this Southern Caucasus country. In Azerbaijan, the population is highly computerized and computer skills have become a major requirement for all applicants.
Internet literacy in the country is also developing, as well as computer literacy is increasing in schools, for both pupils and teachers.
“Taking into account the fact that we live in the information age, internet literacy in the country is increasing day by day,” the Cyber Security Center told AzerNews.
The Center's representative said skills in using the Internet have developed since the use of ICT and Internet has been simplified and the burden of business processes has been reduced in different areas and institutions of the country.
The cyber security center, created in 2013, aims to protect users from online threats, malware cyber-attacks and other adversities.
Widespread access to programs that are not preventing information security violation and do not meet safety requirements of the global Internet network development, shows that danger is imminent, the source said.
Due to Internet freedom - the right to obtain access to the Internet and the information which is fully provided, Azerbaijan has seen certain risks emerged.
Cybercrimes have become an actual reality and Azerbaijan has had to contend with this threat.
“Cybercrimes know no boundaries, and this has created obstacles in identifying perpetrators. Unfortunately, there are no international rules in this sphere”, the source said, noting the more Internet users, the more cyber threats we have.
“In Azerbaijan, the fight against cybercrime is a matter of national security. In order to combat cybercrime more effectively, Azerbaijan has signed the Cybercrime Convention of the Council of Europe in 2008. At the same time, certain points have been added to the Criminal Code on cyber crime,” the Center’s representative said.
To fight cybercrime in the country, the cyber security center raises awareness about the dangers and educates Internet users. In addition, the organization is working with persons exposed to cybercrime to solve problems. At the same time, CERT ensures coordination in information security of Internet providers working across the country.
At a time when e-commerce is developing in Azerbaijan, cybercrime affects both business and consumers.
“The largest and most influential companies engaged in electronic commerce, which made online business a part of their business use certain technologies to ensure the safety of the e-shopping process. By this, they are calling consumers to use ICT opportunities more confidently in the process of online shopping.”
One more threat of the electronic era is the so-called cyberwar. Azerbaijan has been faced with hacker attacks mostly from abroad and on state holidays.
Speaking about this, the source said that there are four organizations in Azerbaijan dealing with safety in the information environment of the state and non-state enterprises, as well as individual Internet users, and fighting with cybercrimes.
The Cyber Security Center, the Computer Emergency Response Team, AzScienceCert, and AzEdunet analyze existing threats and immediately remove them, she said, emphasizing that this is protecting the country from possible cyber attacks.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz