CARICOM, USAID Partner on Cyber Resilience Strategy 2030 Project

The content originally appeared on: The Barnacle News

Collaborating to build a resilient cyber future across the Caribbean 

CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana:  – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and the United States Agency for International Development launched a Cyber Resilience Strategy 2030 Project to enhance cybersecurity capacity across CARICOM States.

Against a backdrop of rising cyber threats globally, the CARICOM’s Council for Trade and Economic Development, in 2019, unanimously approved the development of the Cyber Resilience Strategy 2030 Project. The Project seeks to galvanise Caribbean-wide collaboration on cybersecurity efforts and empower stakeholders to protect themselves digitally. The strategy aims to empower CARICOM states by strengthening resilience at the individual and collective levels, a dual approach that will enable each state to reinforce cyber defenses befitting their unique landscape, while benefiting from pooled regional knowledge and resources to drive back exterior attacks. This multi-level approach will ultimately enhance agility, information sharing, and strategic partnerships in the face of digital threats. It is a critical initiative that marks a significant milestone in implementing cybersecurity safeguards, a key pillar of the CARICOM Single ICT Space.

Expert advisors from Cambridge Global Advisors (CGA) will develop a strategy, engaged through USAID’s Promoting American Approaches to ICT Policy and Regulation (ProICT) activity, funded by the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP).

The Cyber Resilience Strategy 2030 Project Steering Committee, chaired by the CARICOM Secretariat, will direct project implementation, and build on existing regional efforts to improve cybersecurity. The Committee comprises technical and governmental personnel from CARICOM Member States and Associate Members, officials from the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), as well as an independent expert. In the upcoming months, CGA will interview cybersecurity practitioners across the region’s public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors. These consultations will inform a series of reports analyzing CARICOM Member States’ legal and regulatory frameworks, the cybersecurity market, and regional cybersecurity workforce capacity and development needs.

Using a phased approach, CGA will also conduct extensive research and assessments to identify regional cyber vulnerabilities. The findings will shape a comprehensive cyber resilience strategy for CARICOM, providing an essential framework for increasing information sharing, reporting, collaboration, and safeguarding assets to create a united front against cyberattacks. The resulting landmark strategy will lay the foundation for collaboration on cybersecurity through concrete recommendations and implementation guidance. It will address legislative gaps, assess infrastructure, and take a proactive approach to bolstering regional cyber resilience. These actions will empower CARICOM to adapt to evolving threats and promote the development of a robust cyber workforce to prevent and respond to digital attacks.

“This cyber-resilience strategy is crucial for the security and stability of CARICOM Small Island Developing States (SIDS) due to their vulnerability to cyber threats and natural disasters. SIDS often have limited resources and capabilities to combat cyberattacks, making them more susceptible to disruptions in critical infrastructure, such as water and electricity, financial systems, and essential services. This strategy will serve, therefore, to bolster the legal, regulatory and trust frameworks of the Region and enhance international Relations,” said Joseph Cox, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Economic Integration, Innovation and Development.

“By investing in cyber resilience, CARICOM can mitigate the adverse effects of cyber threats, bolster its capacity to respond to cyber incidents effectively, and foster greater trust in its digital ecosystem,” said Nicole D. Theriot, United States Ambassador to Guyana and CARICOM. “Together, our organizations aim to prioritize investment, innovation, and cooperation to build resilient cyber defenses and safeguard the digital future of the Caribbean region.