Viewing archives for Cyber security culture and skills

GFCE and CPED Collaborate on Cybersecurity and AI Forum

On April 17, 2024, Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) and the Center for Policy and Executive Development (CPED) successfully hosted the “Securing the Future: Forum on Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence” at UP Diliman’s National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG). The event aimed to boost strategic partnerships and improve policy frameworks for cybersecurity and AI across various sectors.

In a collaborative initiative aimed at enhancing cybersecurity and AI policy frameworks, the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), Southeast Asia Hub, partnered with the Center for Policy and Executive Development (CPED) at the National College for Public Administration, NCPAG, UP Diliman. This partnership facilitated the inter-agency forum, “Securing the Future: Forum on Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence,” emphasizing GFCE’s commitment to supporting global and regional cyber capacity building.

The forum highlighted GFCE’s dedication to fostering strategic partnerships across various sectors, including government, academia, and the private sector. It served as a vital platform for exchanging knowledge, where regional and global experts shared insights on emerging trends and legislative developments that affect cybersecurity and AI practices.

GFCE Southeast Asia Hub Director, Engr. Allan Cabanlong presented GFCE’s vision of maximizing ICT’s benefits for a secure, peaceful, and open digital world during the forum. He emphasized the significance of collaborative policymaking and regulation to enhance the protection of digital infrastructures and promote technological advancements worldwide.

Keynote and panel discussions at the forum featured notable figures such as UP Diliman Chancellor Atty. Edgardo Carlo L. Vistan II, who advocated for policies that adapt to rapid technological advances, aligning with GFCE’s objectives to influence environments that both regulate and promote innovation in cybersecurity and AI.

GFCE facilitated discussions that led to actionable insights and robust policy frameworks, sharing expertise on international standards and best practices with Philippine stakeholders. Insights from experts like Mr. Joey Rufo, CISO at Unionbank of the Philippines, and Engr. Ava T. Taniajura from BSI Philippines were instrumental in demonstrating the practical implications of cybersecurity strategies and the importance of international standards in building cyber resilience.

The event concluded with GFCE’s commitment to continue supporting and expanding such collaborative forums not only in the Philippines but across Southeast Asia. By aligning with regional research institutions and sharing key data with donors, GFCE aims to enhance its regional impact and credibility, contributing effectively to national and regional cyber resiliency.

GFCE will maintain its partnership with UPNCPAG-CPED and other stakeholders to influence the ongoing development of a comprehensive Cybersecurity Law and to participate in the ASEAN AI Framework discussions for the ASEAN Regional meeting hosted by the Philippines in 2026. These engagements are crucial for advancing GFCE’s mission to support secure, sustainable technological growth across the region.

Global Forum on Cyber Expertise partners with Center for Policy and Executive Development to conduct Cybersecurity and AI Forum.

Global Commitment: GFCE and ACBF Sign MOU to Strengthen Cybersecurity Capacity Building

By: Dominic Sepenu

GFCE and ACBF unite in a landmark MOU to bolster Africa’s cybersecurity resilience. This collaboration aims to address escalating cyber threats by pooling resources and expertise. Through targeted capacity-building programs, governments, institutions, and individuals will gain vital skills to mitigate risks effectively.

In a significant move towards enhancing global cybersecurity resilience, the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), Africa Hub, and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to bolster capacity-building efforts in cybersecurity across Africa.

The MOU signifies a collaborative commitment to address the pressing challenges faced by African nations in cyberspace. With the exponential growth of digital technologies, Africa has become increasingly vulnerable to cyber threats, ranging from malicious cyber activities to data breaches and cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure.

Under the terms of the agreement, the GFCE and ACBF pledge to pool their resources, expertise, and networks to deliver targeted capacity-building programs tailored to the needs of African countries. This collaboration aims to empower governments, institutions, and individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to mitigate cyber risks effectively.

Key components of the partnership include:

1. Resource Mobilization: Facilitating the exchange of resources, best practices, lessons learned, and expertise in cybersecurity capacity building between the GFCE’s global network and ACBF’s extensive regional reach in Africa.

2. Capacity Building Programs: Organizing training sessions, workshops, and seminars designed to build the technical and strategic capacities of African stakeholders in cybersecurity governance, risk management, incident response, and other critical areas.

3. Research and Policy Development: Supporting research initiatives and policy dialogues to inform evidence-based cybersecurity strategies and policy frameworks that align with regional priorities and international standards.

4. Networking and Collaboration: Fostering partnerships and collaboration among government agencies, academia, private sector entities, and civil society organizations to foster a holistic and inclusive approach to cybersecurity capacity building.

Mr. Moctar Yedaly, Director of the GFCE Africa Hub, expressed optimism about the transformative potential of the MOU, stating, “By joining forces with ACBF, we can leverage our collective strengths to build a more resilient and inclusive cybersecurity ecosystem in Africa.”

The signing of the MOU between the GFCE and ACBF represents a significant milestone in the global efforts to promote cybersecurity capacity building, specifically focusing on addressing the unique challenges African countries face. As cyberspace evolves rapidly, collaborative initiatives like these are essential to ensure a safer and more secure digital future.

UNIDIR and GFCE Joined Forces to Enhance Knowledge and Information on Cyber Capacity Building Globally

In a significant stride towards fostering collaboration in the realm of cyber capacity building, the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) has joined forces with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research’s (UNIDIR) Cyber Policy Portal (CPP) and its own Cybil Portal. This collaboration, announced in the margins of the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) 6th substantive session on December 15, 2023, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, represents a pivotal moment in the field. It signifies a commitment to seamless data exchange and information sharing, ultimately contributing to a more robust global cyber capacity building landscape.

GFCE’s Cybil Portal is the largest global, open, and free knowledge repository for the international cyber capacity building (CCB) community, boasting nearly 900 projects and activities, over 400 tools and resources, actor information, and an events calendar. Complementing this, the UNIDIR’s Cyber Policy Portal is a comprehensive resource offering a detailed overview of cyber policy landscapes across all 193 UN Member States and selected intergovernmental organisations. 

This collaborative initiative aims to bolster information sharing and transparency in the realm of cyber capacity building by harnessing the strengths of both portals. This synergy goes beyond a singular event, establishing a sustained channel for enhancing the knowledge base and initiating additional projects within the GFCE framework.

Through this initiative, nearly 900 cyber capacity building projects from the Cybil Portal will seamlessly integrate into UNIDIR’s CPP, enhancing its content with a wealth of diverse initiatives. This joint effort raises awareness of existing resources and broadens their reach to a broader audience. The expanded visibility achieved is vital for promoting transparency in cyber capacity-building endeavours. Beyond visibility and data integration, this collaboration fosters better resource optimisation, easing the work of practitioners in the field. By consolidating knowledge and projects from both portals, the cyber capacity building community can streamline efforts, prevent duplication, and advance more effective and targeted initiatives collectively.

In essence, this collaboration represents a sustained effort to generate more GFCE knowledge and build additional projects and expects to strengthen GFCE’s commitment to providing tools that enhance the global cyber capacity building landscape. As the two portals continue to exchange information seamlessly, the collective impact on the field is expected to be substantial, reinforcing the notion that collaboration is critical to advancing cyber capacity building on a global scale.

Sierra Leone to roll out cyber skills assessment with support from GFCE Community

Written by: Jaqueline Pateguana, Clearing House Coordinator at the GFCE Secretariat; Anna Noij, Advisor at the GFCE Secretariat. 

With the support from the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE)’s Clearing House, the Government of Sierra Leone intends to strengthen cybersecurity capabilities of its society as a whole, including citizens, public and private sector.   

The National Cybersecurity Coordinator, Mariama Yormah, says that the initiative emerges out of the country’s National Cybersecurity Strategy action plan. “The Government’s vision is to empower citizens with the freedom to use the internet for the nation’s socioeconomic development,” stated Yormah. To achieve this, they have adopted the National Cybersecurity Strategy 2021-2025 and passed the Cybersecurity and Crime Act 2021. Next, they will measure the maturity level of the cybersecurity capabilities in country, and then roll out a program that strengthens the digital capabilities of citizens, public and private sector so “all are able and capable to take control of their cybersecurity.” 

“This is our second time seeking out assistance from the GFCE’s Clearing House,” explained Yormah. “In 2019, the Clearing House played an instrumental part in securing support for the development of our first National Cybersecurity Strategy thus, to materialize this new vision, the GFCE’s Clearing House function was our immediate first stop,” she stated. In response to the requested submitted in September 2022, the GFCE Secretariat convened a meeting between Sierra Leone and a coalition of GFCE members and partners with potential expertise to address Sierra Leone’s request. At the meeting, Sierra Leone was able to present their needs to the GFCE members and partners in attendance and has subsequently received various offers of support. 

Figure 1. Mariama Yormah, Sierra Leone’s National Cybersecurity Coordinator, attending the GFCE Annual Meeting in September 2022. 

The GFCE Clearing House continues to be one of the primary tools we have to support our members and partners. It is through the Clearing House that we realize our demand-driven approach, where member countries indicate their CCB gaps and priorities. As a Secretariat, our responsibility lies in leveraging our regional coordination efforts to conduct stocktaking of the existing supply that the GFCE community has to offer” stated David van Duren, GFCE Director. He added that ultimately, though, it is the GFCE community that supports local capacity development—a testament that international collaboration and cooperation remain pivotal to strengthening cyber resiliency. 

 During that Friends of Sierra Leone meeting, the Government of Sierra Leone was able to secure support from several GFCE members and partners, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ITU’s Cyber for Good project aims to bridge the cybersecurity capacity gap in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) by enabling access to cybersecurity tools, trainings, assessments, and other services offered by the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D)’s Private Sector Members. Under the ITU Cyber for Good project, Sierra Leone has been provided 12 months of access to the BitSight Monitoring Platform, allowing Sierra Leone to continuously monitor cybersecurity posture of 20 national critical infrastructure organizations across 12 risk vectors, enabling the identification of vulnerabilities and better risk planning and mitigation. 

“ITU is immensely proud of its role in strengthening Sierra Leone’s cybersecurity infrastructure by fostering valuable partnerships with our ITU-D Private Sector Members. Cyber for Good complements other cyber activities by ensuring the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) advances impact and delivers results for the Membership by creating lasting change and empowering communities worldwide. I remain firmly dedicated to its ongoing collaboration with GFCE’s community, providing steadfast support to our member states and championing their cybersecurity growth,” stated Cosmas Luckyson Zavazava, Director of BDT at ITU. 

Although one partner has been secured thus far, the GFCE Clearing House is continuing to work with Sierra Leone to identify other GFCE members or partners that can respond to other activities included in the request, including the need to conduct a cybersecurity skills gap assessment to evaluate the national cybersecurity capability, identify areas for improvement and cyber capacity building needs at a strategic and operational level. “The Government of Sierra Leone intends to roll out training and educational programs on cybersecurity generally, as well as national public awareness campaigns on cybercrime and the existing legal framework so to build confidence and use of ICTs for citizens and private sector, alike, and we see the GFCE Clearing House mechanism as the ideal platform to link existing CCB initiatives and expertise with the needs of Sierra Leone in assessing, designing and implementing these activities,” stated van Duren.