Mapping cyber capacity building in the Pacific

Co-authored by Cherie Lagakali and Klée Aiken

As discussions around all things digital become increasingly mainstreamed, cyber capacity building has established itself as a key component in the development agenda.

Capacity building, broadly defined as — “stimulating change by developing or strengthening the capabilities and competencies of individuals, institutions, governments and societies ‘at large,’” with an emphasis on the need for processes “to be driven ‘from within’ with external actors providing support” — has seen organizations and governments investing in a whole range of initiatives. These can be commonly categorized into cybersecurity policy; cyber incident management and critical infrastructure protection; cybercrime; cybersecurity culture and skills; and cybersecurity standards.

The inclusion of cyber in capacity-building agendas is a welcome development and has seen innovative efforts spring up across the globe. In the growth of this space and activity of its participants, the need to map what is happening, what works, and most importantly what doesn’t is increasingly important. A genuine concern to avoid duplication, at the very least, and encourage collaboration has seen a proliferation of studies and surveys to map existing efforts.

In a haphazard attempt to help realize this approach in the Pacific, a group of regional cybersecurity experts and practitioners undertook an ad hoc exercise during a 2018 Asia Foundation Cybersecurity Workshop in Port Moresby to develop a shared document.

As a group, our objectives were to map initiatives and share local contacts to build a network of experience that all could draw from.

Building on this initiative at this year’s Cybersecurity Workshop for Stakeholders in the Pacific, organized by Global Partners Digital, the document looks to host this information in a transparent and open way, to be used idealistically, and perhaps naively, to build better informed and more impactful initiatives. 

Such initiatives discussed included the establishment of National CERTs, joining PaCSON, having a cyber strategy and/or adopting a cybercrime legislation.

This is an earnest attempt to create a public resource, an independent, crowd-sourced map of initiatives undertaken in the region aimed at helping collaboration across the Pacific. 

It’s a bit of an experiment, but we hope the community can come together to contribute and get value from this attempt to increase peer-to-peer collaboration and information sharing for cyber capacity building.

Let us know if this effort is useful, how it can be improved, and do share your contributions to make the platform more meaningful. 

The document is available to read and comment on directly or you can send comments, questions, and additions to Cherie or Klée.

This post appears on Klée Aiken blog as well as the APNIC blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *