MINSK, 25 October (BelTA) – Strategically important infrastructure should be protected in case of cyber attacks. However, the country does not need to set up any new centers to deal with the matter, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a meeting on cybersecurity on 25 October, BelTA has learned.
“Cyber attacks are on the rise around the world (it may not be so typical for us, but still there are facts),” the Belarusian leader said. Strategically important facilities, government agencies, enterprises and the banking system are subject to cyber attacks in the first place. “That means that they target the vital infrastructure of any state, including ours. This is an element of hybrid warfare, a very dangerous one. The purpose is to cause the maximum damage to the economy and destabilize society. It is true not only about Belarus, but about any country chosen for an attack,” the president said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that instructions had been made to submit proposals on maximum counteraction to cyberattacks on the facilities of Belarus. The Operations and Analysis Center was to engage experts and prepare the relevant proposals.
“Let us consider these proposals. I want to warn you about the development of any additional centers and structures,” said the head of state. “First you have to offer me the ways to ensure security of our state with the help of what we already have. We do not have extra money to go around and control each other. Let us proceed from the fact that we have defined the goals, that we know what cyber warfare is, and what cybersecurity is. All this we have spelled out in our National Security Concept. Next, we need to understand and already see what the cyber attack will be aimed at. We should probably protect these facilities on site. We will proceed from this. We do not need to set up a new government, a new ministry, or, as we used to do, security centers in order to monitor something. We need to develop a security system at the facilities that will be attacked in the event of cyber warfare.”
The president said that he was ready to listen to a different point of view, if the participants of the meeting had such. The meeting was attended by head of the Operations and Analysis Center under the Belarus President Andrei Pavlyuchenko, Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko, head of the Belarus President Administration Igor Sergeyenko, and State Secretary of the Security Council Aleksandr Volfovich. The head of state added that any opinion or proposal of those present at the meeting regarding the subject of cyber security had to be well thought and justified: “Maybe you have worked out something different. You have been working on the issue for a long time, so I am ready to listen to you.”
Andrei Pavlyuchenko told the media after the meeting that cybersecurity issues are an integral part of national security and the head of state always pays close attention to them. “The president has set a task to develop a national concept of cybersecurity,” the head of the Operations and Analysis Center said. According to him, the president has instructed to elaborate the corresponding document in detail in order to make it systematic and large-scale, covering different sectors and meeting modern challenges and threats. The Operations and Analysis Center will have its competence center and qualified specialists to carry out the task.
According to Andrei Pavlyuchenko, Belarus has its own developments to build a national system of cybersecurity, but it also uses the best practices of other countries. After all, everyone faces cyber attacks in the modern world. In Belarus, logistics, transport and energy sectors have been subjected to such attacks. Answering the question of how Belarusian services cope with such impact, Andrei Pavlyuchenko said: “It is like the eternal struggle of shell and armor. There is no limit to perfection. No country right now can say that it has reached certain heights or the final result. This is an ongoing process. The more advanced the infrastructure, information and communication technology becomes, the more sophisticated the attempts by entire cyber groups, cyber criminals to hack, steal data, blackmail or paralyze certain systems become.”