Government issues new directive for cyber security

Kathmandu, November 22

The government has issued ‘Information Technology Emergency Support Group Operation and Management Directive-2019’ to identify threat to cyber security, mitigate its negative impacts and provide emergency services.

The directive aims to ensure cyber security which is under constant threat with increasing use of informational technology in the country.

It has stipulated a provision of a 12-member IT Emergency Support Group led by a joint secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology for providing emergency support in the events of threats related to cyber security.

It members include representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Department of Information Technology, Office of Controller of Certification, Nepal Police, Nepal Rastra Bank, Nepal Telecommunications Authority and National Information Technology Centre.

According to the directive, the group will help to revive and resume information technology systems of the government bodies and public institutions concerning national security, economy, essential service, emergency service, health or public security if they are shut down due to human or natural causes.

It has also been mandated to issue early warning in relation to potential damage to or attack on any information technology system in Nepal and act as focal point of national and international organisation that carry out functions of similar nature.

“The group shall monitor the condition of cyber security within Nepal on a regular basis, provide emergency assistance round-the-clock, raise public awareness about cyber security and conduct investigation into the incidents related to cyber threats and security,” it read.

There will be a 12-member steering committee headed by secretary at the MoCIT to carry out monitoring on the performance of the group and give necessary direction in the area of cyber security.

Phishing, identity theft, hacking, spreading hate, inciting violence and circulating lewd photos and videos are major forms of cybercrimes reported to the law enforcement agency.

Police record showed that incidents of cybercrimes have drastically increased in the past three years.

As many as 1,318 cases of cybercrimes were recorded in fiscal 2016-17, which increased to 1,694 in 2017-18 and 2,209 in 2018-19.