Australia backs Vanuatu’s CERT

Vanuatu’s latest cyber security initiative launched last week

Australia put $400,000 towards supporting Vanuatu’s newly launched Computer Emergency Response Team as well as helping the Pacific nation’s work developing cyber policy and legislation.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement today during a visit to Australia by his ni-Vanuatu counterpart, Charlot Salwai.

Vanuatu’s CERT was launched last week.

“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 analyse their findings, report with advisories and guides to help the government, business organisations and individuals who are using the internet in Vanuatu,” acting director Gregoire Nimbtik said at the launch, according to a Vanuatu Daily Post report.

Establishing a CERT was one of the objectives of the nation’s National Cybersecurity Policy, published in December 2013.

The CERT would address “relevant Cybersecurity threats for citizens, tourists, businesses and government in Vanuatu,” the policy states.

“The CERT shall also provide computer forensic services within criminal investigations involving computer technology or electronic evidence. In addition the CERT shall be responsible to monitoring developments and ensuring that information about current trends and risks (such as Vanuatu specific phishing attacks or the detection of skimming devices in the country) are communicated through the different channels.”

Vanuatu along with Australia, New Zealand and 12 other Pacific nations is a member of the Pacific Cyber Security Operational Network (PaCSON), which launched in late April.

The Australian government has helped fund PaCSON through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s $15 million Cyber Cooperation Program (CCP).

Australia’s International Cyber Engagement Strategy, released by the government in October 2017, has a particular focus on strengthening the cyber security capacity of Indo-Pacific nations.

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