OSCE trains Kazakh specialists how to prevent cyber-related terrorist attacks


ASTANA -- The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) last week trained 17 Kazakh specialists on protecting the country's energy infrastructure from cyber-terrorism.

The exercise, held in Astana November 28-29, covered risk assessment, crisis management and ways to mitigate the impact of a terrorist cyber-attack, the OSCE said in a statement.

Participants took part in a discussion-based simulation called "Black Kazakhstan", in which they tested the effectiveness of existing protection and crisis management systems, including co-ordination with external crisis management mechanisms, according to the OSCE.

The exercise was meant to raise awareness of the terrorist threat to information and communications technology-enabled critical energy infrastructure and to improve inter-agency co-ordination, the OSCE said.

"The disruption or destruction of critical energy infrastructure by terrorists could potentially have a devastating effect on the economy and society," said Koen De Smedt of the Action against Terrorism Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department.

"This exercise will help test and develop Kazakhstan's national, sectoral and company-level capabilities to respond to a terrorist cyber-attack directed at industrial control systems," he said.

The country has taken other steps to ward off cyber attacks, such as its "cyber shield" programme to counter extremist recruiting and propaganda online, said Kazakh Vice-Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry Timur Shaimergenov.

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