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Oman enhances cybersecurity amidst rising online incidents

10 Jun 2024 Oman enhances cybersecurity amidst rising online incidents By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT) effectively managed over 460 cybersecurity incidents in 2023. The robust response underlines the sultanate’s concerted efforts to safeguard digital infrastructure and maintain cyber resilience.

The ministry’s annual report – 2023 Digital Indicators in ICT Sector – showed that the National Digital Forensic Laboratory resolved 241 cybercrime cases. Additionally, the Threats Notification and Alert Service issued 86 alerts on potential security threats, underscoring proactive measures to preempt cyber vulnerabilities.

The digital landscape of Oman saw significant activity with more than 30mn electronic transactions processed and over 3.5mn electronic certificates issued, highlighting the growing reliance on digital solutions. These efforts are part of a broader push towards digital transformation, aimed at enhancing service delivery and operational efficiency of the government sector.

The telecommunications sector reported investments totalling about RO227mn and revenues of approximately RO805mn. The sector’s Omanisation rate stood at an impressive 94%, reflecting the government’s commitment to local talent development.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) received a notable push with investments exceeding RO31.2mn. MTCIT launched six pilot AI projects in 2023, accompanied by the publication of 76 research papers, indicating a robust engagement with advanced technology. The burgeoning startup ecosystem further supports this, with 48 new registrations, pointing to a vibrant entrepreneurial landscape.

Oman’s foray into space technology marked another leap forward, with investments reaching US$155mn in 2021. Establishment of three specialised centres for space science consolidates the sultanate’s ambitions in this high-stakes field, promising a future of innovative exploration.

Infrastructure development moves forward with the deployment of 4,566 5G stations nationwide, enhancing connectivity and supporting the rollout of next-generation network services. Muscat leads this expansion with 1,680 stations, followed by 720 in North Batinah, 532 in Dhofar, 491 in South Batinah and 344 in Dakhliyah, among the other governorates.

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