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President inaugurates "WAVE" International Symposium

President inaugurates "WAVE" International Symposium

Secretary makes Key Note address

[November 28 2018]


The 'WAVE" International Symposium and ICT Exhibition organized by the Signals Corps of the Sri Lanka Army was inaugurated by President Maithripala Sirisena at the BMICH in Colombo, this morning (28 November).

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Hemasiri Fernando made the keynote address at the international symposium held to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Signals Corps.

The chief guest was received by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake upon arrival at the venue.

The Symposium is held with the aim to create a well harmonized milieu outspread for dedicated ICT professionals to demonstrate, impart, share and discuss significant developments, challenges and threats in perpetual advancements in the field of ICT with a meticulous outlook on Command, Control, Communication, Computer, Cyber and Intelligence (C5I).

Making the keynote address, Secretary Fernando said that advancements in modern technology has made us more connected which in turn has exposed us to unprecedented repercussions. Cyber security plays a wide role in today's world to avoid massive crimes and in the future to prevent 'cyber wars' which could cripple economies and lead to loss of human lives.

He said that it is true enough, the increasing digital connectivity, the whole value chain leads to increasing productivity and efficiency, and at the same time the looming high levels of threats, significantly raising the risk of cyber security. Underlining the necessity for cyber security he implied the importance of adapting the latest technological advancements.

Further speaking, he said that, when adventures of ICT technologies are transforming the world, they also create a number of new challenges to nations. Use of Cyberspace and Cyber Domain, is extremely important for national security, over the past few years and in the coming years. Today, all the experts in this domain agree that, cyber threats are going to be the greatest concern, for nation states and Armed Forces, he added.

States need to work out contingencies, as cyber security has become more important in securing sustainability, economic development and stability of any country, he noted.

Cyber terrorists don't distinguish, whether their actions are against the public, military or private sector, as long as their aims are achieved. Unlike conventional terrorists who would destroy human lives and property, a cyber-terrorist could cause a level of damage, that could be immeasurable, with collateral damage and other spill over adverse effects, he cautioned.

He implied the need to keep up with new technological advancements and innovations in order to ensure the safety of defence systems.

Noting the fact that cyber threats, mostly, and often target human behavior, is not fully realized he said that cyber threats such as social engineering, spear phishing, cyber bullying are mostly targeted, through social networks which is harmful to future generations especially the youth.

Cyber security has become a national issue and many countries have given top priority to this issue. In a macro picture, most experts in this domain believe that cyberwar is inevitable. It will be unwise if we are not prepared to any eventualities, be it a Cyber Crime or Cyber War, he further added.

He observed that, unlike the use of nuclear weapons by nuclear states, cyberattacks today may be carried out both within and outside a state by a variety of actors. It is very difficult or virtually impossible to trace the attack back to its origin.

Upon concluding his keynote address the Secretary was presented a memento by the Colonel Commandant of the Signals Corps, Major General Ajith Wijesinghe as a token of appreciation.

The Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake presented a memento to the President during the occasion.

Soon after the inaugural session of the Symposium the President accompanied by the Secretary and Commander of the Army opened the ICT Exhibition. A range of new technological products and services have been put on display by state and private sector entities. The two-day (28 & 29) exhibition is open to the public.

Secretary to the Ministry of Posts and Telecom, Commanders of the Navy and Air Force, senior Ministry officials, IGP, members of the diplomatic corps, senior foreign military delegates, industry experts, intellectuals and special invitees were also present at the occasion.

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