ICT: In what should strengthen cyber security in the country, the Bhutan Cyber Security Incident Response Team (BtCIRT) is expected to be operational by July next year.

The government recently signed a contract with an international firm to assist it in creating the cyber security team. “Contract has been signed with a firm to assist in implementing BtCIRT and currently doing assessment of current environment,” Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT) officiating director, Jigme Tenzing, said.

The firm, NRD CS is a cyber security technology consulting, incident response and applied research company. The company focuses on services to specialized organizations like the police, governments, the courts, and corporations, according to its website.

NRD CS is a joint venture between the Norway Registers Development AS and BAIP, a professional IT infrastructure services company offering IT infrastructure strategy and architecture solutions.

The overall objective of the project is to set up a fully operational BtCIRT in order to coordinate information flow, respond to and manage cyber threats, and enhance cyber security in the country, according to information on the BAIP website. The BtCIRT will serve as a trusted and central coordination point of contact for cyber security aimed at identifying, defending, responding to and managing cyber threats.

“We are committed to implementing an effective national CIRT in Bhutan which responds to the country’s cyber security needs and supports its digital agenda,” NRD CS CEO, Vilium Benetis it is stated on the BAIP website. “We bring a practical approach, based on international frameworks. We believe that extending the National CIRT capabilities, improving cyber defense processes and technologies as well as building a competent community of shareholders are fundamental to the success of the project.”

It is also pointed out on the BAIP website that the scope of the project includes user requirement specification and computer networks, pre-installation and preparation of a step-by-step guide for network and hardware, installation and testing of software, among others.

Jigme Tenzing pointed out that while a technical working team has been identified comprising members from different government agencies, the BtCIRT team is yet to be formalized.

“The main challenge is the lack of capability within the government,” Jigme Tenzing said. “The department is in a process of formalizing a team and building their capability.”

The BtCIRT will function as a section under the DITT and may eventually be upgraded to a division.

“As a national CIRT, it will serve as a trusted and central coordination point of contact for cyber security; aimed at identifying, defending, responding to and managing cyber threats,” Jigme Tenzing said.

According to BAIP, the contract is a little over USD 150,000.

Gyalsten K Dorji