Samoa hosts regional cyber security meeting

More than 30 participants from around the Pacific are attending the third regional workshop on building cyber security capability for Computer Emergency Response Teams (C.E.R.T.) or Computer Security Incident response Teams (C.S.I.R.Ts).

Held at Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, the participants attending the three-day event include nine senior delegates from Tonga, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Samoa.  

"This is a great chance for us to counter the challenge of cyber security, and the aim of this is to educate and train our people, especially those in the field of I.C.T. to learn about technology and the different aspects needed to protect our everyday work and communications online," said Ministry of Communications Information and Technology Chief Executive Officer, Fualau Talatalaga Matafe.

With the arrival of the Tui Samoa cable and the satellite connections, not only is Samoa exposed to a wider varieties of services and fast internet capacities but also makes us prone to more challenges that comes with it, said Fualau to the Samoa Observer. 

"And that's the importance of this workshop is to ensure that the I.T. officers are prepared to protect our government as well as the members of the public overall, including our children, businesses and others," he said.

He said the Ministry is also looking into partnering with businesses and forming cooperation with businesses through the Chamber of Commerce to make sure the same training gets to businesses. 

"The beginning of these training is already starting within the government Ministries  and agencies as this is where the critical infrastructure of the government lays and this is where we were looking to start this training.

"But looking to the future and partnering with businesses, it is relevant and important, if the government's information and services should be protected, then it should be the same with our businesses and other partners.

"And that's the outlook the Ministry is looking into to keep getting these kinds of training to expand the opportunity out to the public and private sector," he said.

Fualau added the biggest challenge is taking the programme out to villages and communities due to the lack of employees to deliver it.

The other goal is to form partnerships to ensure that the non-governmental organisations are also built to deliver the workshops, to educate our people on how to properly use technology and its impacts, he said.

Conducting the workshop are Messrs Adli Wahid and Geoffroy Thonon whom the Minister of Communication Information and Technology, Afamasaga Rico Tupai, urged the participants to learn as much as they can from.

"I would urge you all to learn as much from them as this level of expertise is very hard to come by in such a setting as this and I sincerely hope that you can make the most of this opportunity to ask the questions that need to be asked in the context of your own countries as well as the region as a whole," he said.

Operated by the A.P.N.I.C. Foundation with funding from the Cyber Coordination from the Australian Government's Department of the Foreign Affairs, the workshop is a result of a two-year programme to help raise awareness of and build cyber security capacity on the Pacific. 

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