The move is part of Russia's cyber security strategy up to 2020, currently being formulated by the Russian Council Federation, the upper house of the national parliament (Duma), the Ministry of Communications and the Government Office.
According to reports from Zecurion, one of Russia's leading cyber-security companies, there is an acute need for the centre, with the annual volume cyber-crime losses in Russia estimated at more than £660 million per year. Cash thefts committed using communication technologies grew by more than 60 percent in 2013 and although figures for 2014 haven't been announced yet, analysts predict it will be even higher.
Andrew Kolesnikov, one of the developers of the strategy, and director of the Coordination Center for TLD RU, the administrator of Top Level National Domains .RU and .P?., which serve as the national registry, commented to SC that many foreign countries and large IT companies already have their own centres to respond to cyber-threats. Kolesnikov says there are centres operated by the US and Chinese governments, as well as Microsoft, Xerox, Google and other companies.
Kolesnikov adds that, in addition to fighting cyber-threats, the centre would be involved in national cyber-space analytic and monitoring activities and would operate around the clock, seven days a week.
An official spokesman of the Russian Ministry of Communications told SC that there are plans to use the experience of China, where a local cyber-threat response centre gathers information from both corporates and nations, and coordinates actions to eliminate or minimise damage. It is also responsible for educating local citizens on cyber-security, and in particular through the development of guidelines Internet operation in high schools.
The country's new cyber-strategy will focus on fighting information terrorism, cyber-crimes, the use of a dominant position in cyberspace and other threats.
Paul Rassudov, chairman of the Pirate Party of Russia, an apolitical party in Russia based on the model of the Swedish Pirate Party, was formed to reform laws regarding copyright and patents.
Russia currently has an unprotected computer infrastructure since most local computers used foreign hardware and software. Rassudov said to SC, “Russia needs a strong strategy for cyber-security, which involves the establishment of a new state centre for the response to cyber-threats.”
He says particular attention should be paid to the cyber-protection of critical infrastructure, especially water supply, heating, control of traffic lights, nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, etc.
Establishment of the new centre is expected to receive approval at the beginning of March from the Russian Security Council, a consultative body of the Russian President advising the President's decisions on national security affairs.