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01 October 2013


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Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation concludes agreement to enhance cyber security

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) has concluded an agreement with the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA) to provide assistance to its member states in strengthening their cyber security.

CTO is an international organisation whose mission is to “promote, facilitate and guide members in using ICTs to deliver effective development interventions.”1 CTO has been involved in issues related to cyber security since 20072 and since 2010 has organised the Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum that focuses on building capacity and facilitating partnerships.3 Cyber security and cyber crime4 have been identified as one of CTO’s six focus areas in their Strategic Plan for 2012-2016.5 In addition to the cyber security dimension, CTO has also initiated a project for establishing a Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model, approved by the Abuja Declaration in October 2013.6

Part of CTO’s enhanced efforts in the area of cyber security is a cooperation agreement signed on the 1st of July 2013 with the ICSPA.

The ICSPA is a not-for-profit organisation. Its members and partners are government institutions, private industry, academia, and law enforcement authorities. The aim of the organisation is to assist governments and law enforcement agencies in the fight against cybercrime,7 and to facilitate the use of capabilities and expertise from the private sector.

Based on the agreement, the Commonwealth member states are offered assistance by CTO and ICSPA in the field of cyber security. The first step of this would be to make a cyber crime and security impact assessment to identify possible security gaps. Then a business case would be developed describing how the shortfalls could be mitigated and “by which governments can decide precisely how to implement their cyber resilience strategies – in what priority, at what cost and over what period of time.”8