• Cyber Security Act to be presented to the parliament this year.
• World Bank Expert Support to Sri Lanka's Future Cyber Security Strategic Plan.
-- State Minister for Technology Mr. Kanaka Herath
As Proposed in the Information and Cyber Security Strategy of Sri Lanka (2019: 2023), the Cyber Security Bill will be submitted to the parliament this year, stated the State Minister for Technology Mr. Kanaka Herath. He further pointed out that this Act leads to the establishment of the Cyber Security Regulatory Authority, Protect Critical National Information Infrastructure, and helps to mitigate the risk of maliciously misusing the digital systems from various cyber threats.
Mr. Kanaka Herath expressed these views whilst attending a workshop in Colombo which was jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (Sri Lanka CERT) and the World Bank in Colombo on Sri Lanka's next cyber security strategy.
A hundred invitees representing the IT sector including officials attached to ministries, departments, and other government organizations have been invited for the workshop which was held at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo on the 23rd of February 2023. The State Minister for Technology Mr. Kanaka Herath further explained that along with the development of the IT sector in the country, the government has paid special attention on the aspects related to cyber security. Mr. Kanaka Herath, appreciating the technical and expert advisory support extended by the World Bank for Sri Lanka's next cyber security strategy, also stated that this effort is extremely important at a time when Sri Lanka is embarking on its digital transformation.
“The government has already taken steps to protect citizens’ privacy from the adverse effects that may arise from digitization. Accordingly, the Data Protection Act which regulates the processing of personal data was approved in the Parliament last year. Under that it is planned to establish the Data Protection Authority by March 2023. The government has identified cyber security as an essential element in digitization and it is necessary for the national security, national economy, and the security of various sectors of the country.”
Also, Mr. Herath stated that from 2024 March onwards, all payments and charges of government organizations are planned to be implemented only via digital electronic payment facilities, whilst adding on that necessary steps have been already taken to drive the country towards a digital transformation.
Ms. Chiyo Kanda, the World Bank Country Manager for Sri Lanka, pointed out that the World Bank has been continuously working for the development of Sri Lanka for nearly 70 years and will continue to provide the same support in future as well. Mrs. Chio Kandha, stressed the fact that in the current context there is a growing trend of cyber-attacks, particularly from 2021 to 2022, cyber-attacks have increased by 38% globally. She further added that necessary remedial actions should be taken to control this situation.
The World Bank's Senior Digital Development Specialist Ms. Junko Narimatsu, the Secretary to the Ministry of Technology, Professor Neranjan Gunawardena, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Response Team (Sri Lanka CERT), Mr. Rohan Muttiah, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Sri Lanka CERT Dr. Kanishka Karunasena and some other public sector officials graced the occasion by their presence.