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Putin highlights freedom and risk awareness as key to nurturing digital development

Putin brands fight against cyber attacks state priority

MOSCOW, July 6. /TASS/. Digital development may be based only on freedom, but with the understanding of responsibility and risks in this sphere, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a session of the International Cybersecurity Congress.

"Effective digital development may be based only on digital freedom - for businesses, public organizations and citizens - and on lifting the barriers that restrict the progress. Still, we should be aware of both our responsibility and potential risks, threats and challenges in the digital sphere," the head of state said.

In his opinion, "the active introduction of digital technologies largely determines the progressive development of each state, and, probably, of the whole world." "Artificial intelligence, robotics and the internet of things are becoming the basis of the economic growth, while digital platforms and the electronic document flow drastically increase the openness and effectiveness of the operation of power structures, companies, businesses and social and educational facilities," Putin added.

The president noted that digitalization is a serious resource for national development and real improvement of the quality of life for the people. In Russia much has been done to introduce new technologies and programs and ensure the active and equal integration of our country in the global information space, he said. Russia has the largest number of the global network users in Europe, with more than 90 million, Putin noted.

Putin reiterated that the Internet trade volume is actively growing, and new products are appearing in the banking sphere, insurance and logistics, while the provision of state and municipal services in the electronic form has become a norm. "Even elderly people are using these tools more and more often, whereas until recently one had to obtain the required documentation, visit numerous offices and spend much time in lines for this purpose. It seems to persist, but the situation is generally improving, still," the president noted. He highlighted that "the new digital sphere is, in fact, drastically changing human life." "We intend to continue this work in a consistent and systematic manner," the head of state concluded.

War on cyber attacks

Putin said at an international congress on cybersecurity arranged by Sberbank that the struggle against cyber attacks was a state task.

"In the first quarter of this year, the number of cyber attacks on Russian resources increased by a third compared to the same period of last year," the Russian president said.

"I am convinced that their neutralization and the provision of cybersecurity as a whole are a state task," Putin said.

In this work, it is necessary to pool together the efforts of law-enforcement agencies, business circles, public organizations and citizens, the Russian president noted.

"In this regard, we are implementing a program of specific measures in Russia to fight cyber-crimes," Putin said.

The issues of information space security require special attention, the head of the Russian state stressed.

"We see that the number of threats and risks in this area is only growing," he said.

"Thus, according to the data of the World Economic Forum, losses from cyber attacks in the world totaled about a trillion US dollars in 2017 alone. In experts’ opinion, the damage will be even larger, unless effective measures are taken," the Russian leader stressed.

Speaking about priorities in the information space, Putin highlighted research in this sphere in cooperation with business and scientists.

According to the Russian president, this will help promote domestic technologies and use them as the basis to create products that are in demand and competitive.

"And, of course, a key task is to train qualified personnel, form competencies that will help carry out further large-scale transformations in the sphere of the digital economy," the head of the Russian state stressed.