Remarks by Ambassador Lee Litzenberger For the MTCHT Cybersecurity/IPR Workshop

 

Thank you, Mr. Minister.

Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to today’s Cybersecurity and Intellectual Property Rights Workshop.I would like to extend my gratitude and thanks to Minister Ramin Guluzade and to the dedicated officials in the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and High Technologies for their work to host today’s workshop.I would also like to thank Microsoft and Oracle for their generous support of today’s event, and their commitment to Azerbaijan’s digital future.

This workshop is an important opportunity to discuss ways we can better protect our systems and networks from cyberattacks and malevolent actors. In my time as Ambassador, I’ve made promotion of intellectual property rights one of my top priorities. There is an intrinsic link between cybersecurity and intellectual property rights. In the context of computer systems and networks, the way we best increase our cybersecurity is by ensuring the use of verified, licensed software for official business. Licensing software saves companies and government money in the long run from the steep costs of recovering money and information lost from cyberattacks and other malign interference. In fact, every year malware from unlicensed software costs companies and governments worldwide nearly $359 billion a year, or $10,000 per infected computer. One study conducted last year showed that organizations now face a nearly one-in-three chance of encountering malware when they obtain or install unlicensed software. A study from Kaspersky Lab in Azerbaijan earlier this year found that 42% of personal computers in the country have encountered at least one cyber threat in the first nine months of 2019. While this study focused primarily on personal computers, we know that government systems are also attractive targets for cyberattacks from malicious actors. Just last week, hackers launched a massive cyberattack against multiple targets in Georgia. This attack defaced and shut down multiple government sites, from the websites of general jurisdiction courts to the government website of the President herself.

 

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