Ministry can protect Samoa from cyber attacks – Afamasaga

The Minister for Communications and Information Technology (M.C.I.T.), Afamasaga Rico Tupai, is confident that with education, Government will be able to protect itself and Samoa’s citizens from cybercrime.

Members of the Government Technical Working Group – who are information technology professionals from Government ministries and agencies – are being trained this week by Ryan Pardee, Patrick Geahan, and Dr Christopher Hecker, who are special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) in cyber security and cybercrime investigation.

Speaking at the opening of the training hosted by his Ministry, Afamasaga said having three federal agents of the FBI will help Samoa ward against cyber security.

“But we won’t be by ourselves,” Afamasaga said.

“There is always going to be assistance from all our development partners and as of today we have the F.B.I.”

As part of Samoa’s ongoing digital transformation, the nation is investing in training to ward off the possibilities of hacking, data-theft or even human error, that could send the entire nation’s technical infrastructure awry.

In his remarks, Afamasaga mentioned that a forensic investigation into a shutdown of Government technical services has not yet ascertained whether human error or hacking was to blame, but he does not want to see a repeat.

“Your security is as good as your weakest link and to me the weakest link is the human factor,” he said.

To take the workshop forward, participants will be expected to take presentations of what they learned to their ministries and government agencies, to their wider IT departments and other stakeholders.

The hope is to “develop a large pool of talent” for Samoa’s developing IT sector, and the migration of government services to the digital realm.

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