Meeting on cybersecurity

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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.

“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.”