Vanuatu’s Computer Emergency Response Team launched

Participants of CERT/APNIC Workshop at the launching of CERT VU at Ramada Resort Photo: Kizzy Kalsakau

Vanuatu is the third country in the Pacific to launch its Computer Emergency Response Team.

The Government of Vanuatu through the Prime Minister’s office has officially launched Vanuatu’s National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) this week at the Ramada Resort.

In his official address on behalf of the Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, Acting Director Gregoire Nimbtik stated the CERT marked a critical ICT infrastructure milestone for Vanuatu.

“This is a security infrastructure achievement which will see Vanuatu stepping up to cyber-threats and vulnerabilities and reporting them to a central point-of-management, control and mitigation team, who can analyze their findings, report with advisories and guides to help the government,business organizations and individuals who are using the internet in Vanuatu,” he said.

“The scope of CERT can be broad and established to ensure that appropriate technology and system management practices are used to resist attacks on networks and to limit damage and ensure continuity of critical service in spite of attacks, accidents or failures.”

CERT’s core existence and establishment is usually to monitor and manage threats and vulnerabilities, either in selected organizations or throughout the entire country.It exists to create and enable a point-of-presence whereby users of the internet and networks can report a security or malicious incident to, promote cyber security awareness, analyze and mitigate malicious incidents.

Chief Information Officer at the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO), Gerard Metsan stated that with the National Cyber-security Policy in 2014, the establishment of CERT VU was another milestone achieved, whereby playing a role in enabling citizens of Vanuatu, tourists, businesses and government to enjoy the full benefit of a safe, secure and resilient cyberspace to get access to knowledge and share information while understanding and addressing the risks, to reduce the benefits to criminals.

Prior to the launching of CERT VU, the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) conducted a workshop on Incident Response to Online threat with participants from Government department and statutory bodies, telecommunication companies and other businesses around Port Vila.

“The workshop has enable a partnership dialogue between participants to work alongside each other and strengthen Vanuatu’s security framework, IP communications network and ICT infrastructure,” Metsan said.

“This could potentially be executed by formally establishing a ‘Memorandum of Cooperation’ which will provide the means and scope to facilitate collaboration, thus allowing CERT VU and each institutions to exchange and share information on incident response to malicious threats, security intelligence and security awareness programs.”

The Vanuatu government has acknowledged the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affair’s Cyber Affairs Cooperation for providing Cash Grant to enable the OGCIO to established Vanuatu’s national CERT.

“The Vanuatu government would also like to thank the APNIC for the technical assistance to the OGCIO through capacity building programs.”

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