Strong start for PNG CERT

By on 21 Nov 2017

Categories: Community, Development

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Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs)  play an important role in Internet safety in the region.

Earlier this month, Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) National Information and Communications Technology Authority (NICTA) organized a two-day workshop in Port Moresby focused on establishing a national CERT in PNG.

APNIC was invited by NICTA to be a part of this milestone, along with network operators, representatives from financial, law enforcement and academic institutions, and government agencies.

In his opening remarks, Mr Sam Basil, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy, highlighted the importance of the workshop within the context of the other development work — including the launch of PNG IXP earlier this year — that is happening in PNG.

“The two-day workshop that begins today will seek to take steps, through multi-stakeholder dialogue, in implementing a National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for PNG. The planned establishment of this key critical infrastructure is part of PNG Government’s proposed cybersecurity policy and strategy to develop a safer and secure national cyber environment,” said Mr Basil.

“The set-up of the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) will also put us on par with the developed economies of APEC and boost confidence in doing electronic commerce (or e-commerce) within the country and between us and other countries.”

Read a transcript of Mr Basil’s speech on Facebook.

The objectives of the workshop were: 1) to learn about CERTs in general with an emphasis on the role of national CERTs, and 2) to get buy-in from key stakeholders to lay the foundation for a national CERT in PNG and get their input in developing an initial action plan.

It was a pleasure to work with the participants and share some observations gained from our recent experience helping to establish Tonga CERT as well as our ongoing engagements with APCERT and FIRST.

Overall, it was very heartening to see attendees actively participate, share ideas, and offer support to get the CERT up and running.

Of course, there’s more work to be done based on the action plan developed from the workshop. And even after the CERT has been successfully established there will be requirements for enhancing its capabilities as part of a bigger cybersecurity agenda. But the workshop has provided a solid basis from which to take action.

This work is being supported by the APNIC Foundation through a grant from the Australian Government.

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