Muscat, June 2020
Maqbool Al-Wahaibi: We are assisting medium and small institutions so that they can install various platforms to help them continue their services to society in various fields. Maitham Al Lawati: We caution companies and financial institutions over storing their data outside the Sultanate.
Oman Data Park (ODP) has enabled many government organisations, companies and banks operating in the Sultanate of Oman to reorganise their technical networks and main systems to operate them remotely with complete security and without any hindrance. It has been carried out to mitigate the effects on the security of electronic networks and is in line with the decisions of the Supreme Committee in charge of dealing with the situations arising due the spread of Corona virus (Covid-19). ODP’s role comes as part of its efforts to increase information security in the country and provide assurance against security breaches during such crisis.
Engineer Maqbool bin Salim al Wahaibi, CEO of Oman Data Park, said that the company, through its Information Security Centre, was working to make systems and networks safe and secure in the Sultanate of Oman and protect them from any cyber threats. The centre makes sure that continuous necessary protection standards are applied to ward off any infiltration or virus. Any electronic security threat to these systems is monitored and protection is provided against piracy and hacking.
Al Wahaibi said that remote working enables the work conditions of business entities to be continued at a record speed. It is required in several sectors including banks and financing sectors who were recently requested to scale down their operations to reduce the spread of the virus. This has been done by providing advanced technical systems and solutions to help the employees do their job in a very simple manner with security. He said that the cloud solutions have two main qualities, namely remote operations and low capital and operational cost.
He stated that business entities needed innovative solutions to help them work from a distance and with high efficiency and low financial costs thus reducing their capital and operating costs during this crisis.
We advise all government and private sector organisations to use the solutions and programs which have high security standards with their data stored carefully within the Sultanate. We have invested in the services of ODP to support in such requirements to reduce the capital and operational costs, on the one hand, as well as to increase the efficiency, on the other, he added.
Al Wahaibi warned all companies and particularly addressing financial institutions against the risk of installing their systems and storing their data with cloud companies outside the Sultanate. He said that such practises have threats arising from electronic piracy or illegal exploitation of data.
Since its establishment, ODP is providing all means of cloud systems, various data centre services and advanced solutions of cyber security with all their necessary elements to empower the business entities of the Sultanate. This is done so that the subscribers of these services can focus on their main services and increase their productive capacity while ODP takes care of management, operations and high-quality security of technical systems as well as advanced data security with low financial costs, he said.
He said that creating electronic service platforms and storing them securely in Oman has become essential, especially those which address the main requirements of livelihood of the citizens, such as the new app offering groceries and and other electronic shopping platforms. Such storing services can strengthen them by providing necessary security systems of high quality so that they are not vulnerable to electronic piracy, sabotage and other hindrances. The storage of data within the Sultanate and dealing with a national company such as ODP guarantees confidentiality and privacy of information. It also provide the subscribers the necessary facility to directly communicate with an in-house team of engineers and technicians in case of any support on technical or security-related issues, he said.
Al Wahaibi said that the company was providing all support to medium and small institutions and has made special packages for them to enable them to install various platforms. They provide their services to the society in various fields, whether grocery, electronic shopping or delivery platforms.
ODP is providing advanced and innovative solutions as part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the field of artificial intelligence, big data and smart systems, which helps the Sultanate to continue its progress in the technology of the digital economy. This is because such solutions have positive effects on the economy in medium and long term, he said.
Al Wahaibi said that creativity and providing best advanced solutions have always been the priority of the company. These solutions make the work simple are more effective and efficient. They also reduce the capital and operational costs associated with it. He said that so far the company was successful in providing its cloud solutions to more than 550 companies inside and outside the Sultanate.
“Information security is key to these institutions. We have established a dedicated cyber security centre to serve these institutions using latest and advanced systems. We feel proud that this cyber security centre is being run by industry qualified and competent Omanis who work round the clock to monitor and protect our customers against any cyber threat. Unfortunately, those who store their data outside, do not benefit from such a service, he said.
He said that the company has paid attention to supporting medium and small enterprises sector during these challenging times. ODP has been working closely with investment funds supporting this sector as well as with concerned government organisations. ODP offers special packages as part of its social responsibility programme to help more than 30 small and medium enterprises make their headway towards success and expects the number to double very soon. Al Wahaibi said that the company was working to empower small and medium enterprises by providing them cost effective cloud and secure data centre services to build their companies easily and conveniently.
Referring to the importance of information and network security, Maitham Al Lawati, General Manager of the Cyber Security Centre of ODP, said that awareness on the information security must come from the top of the institutions. Their priorities should be to secure their networks from any electronic penetration. He emphasised that it was important to maintain confidentiality of passwords as well as updated protection systems to protect computers, networks, servers and storage systems. He also pointed out that it was equally important to have intelligent systems which can detect vulnerabilities and viruses. He said that the Oman Centre for Cyber Security was continuously providing necessary support for various business entities of the Sultanate and protecting them from any harm. (ENDS)