ROSEAU, Dominica -- A delegation from the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Organization of American States (OAS) visited Dominica last week to conduct a workshop on the development of a national cyber security strategy for the government of the country.
The delegation, led by OAS cyber security specialists, and which included the participation of representatives from the Estonian Information System Authority, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, held a three day workshop aimed at the development of a national cyber-security strategy and the provision of technical training on incident response and cyber forensics.
During the workshop, participants heard expert advice on approaches to the development and implementation of a national strategy, and began drafting key components of the strategy through working groups. In addition, the OAS partnered with the Estonian representatives to assist participants in the development of a road map for the establishment of a cyber security incident response team (CSIRT).
The visit forms part of a larger offer of assistance to help Dominica develop its national cyber security strategy, and includes appropriate follow-up support to facilitate expedient development and adoption of the strategy and related activities. Previously, in April a team visited the country to carry out a national cyber crime assessment, as part of the Commonwealth Cyber Crime Initiative (CCI).
The minister for information, telecommunication and constituency empowerment of Dominica, Ambrose George said, “The government of Dominica has taken the initiative to enact cyber security legislation as a first step to combating this growing economic threat. Legislation in and of itself is insufficient as it only forms a pillar to many sides of this emerging cancer in our cyber world. It is for this reason the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica pledges its continued commitment to see the process of the development of our national cyber-security strategy to fruition.”
For his part, the secretary for multidimensional security of the OAS, Adam Blackwell, said, “The issue of cyber-security is often a daunting task even to well developed nations as many times the cyber criminals are two steps ahead of governments in their efforts to combat cybercrime. It is therefore encouraging to see one of our member states tackle the challenge with fervor and determination. As such, I look forward to the product of these meetings, recognizing that the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica has a unique opportunity to be a trend setter in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States in the area of cyber-security.”
The OAS/CICTE cyber security program is the result of a decision by the General Assembly of the OAS to adopt a Comprehensive Inter-American Cyber-security Strategy in 2004. The Organization was charged with developing the cyber security capabilities of its member states with a focus on establishing CSIRTs; raising awareness of the importance of cyber issues and creating a culture of cyber security; and supporting the development of cyber security policy frameworks.
As such, to date, the program has assisted 19 member countries through working closely with governments to establish national CSIRTs and three member states to develop and officially adopt comprehensive national cyber security strategies.