Developing nations are facing security challenges as they enter the cyber age

News by Dan Raywood

Cyber security is the next challenge for developing nations that require private sector help and key skills.

Cyber security is the next challenge for developing nations that require private sector help and key skills.

John Lyons, CEO of the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance, claimed that more aid should be given to developing countries to offer advice on cyber security to help them become more resilient.

Speaking at the National Security conference in London, Lyons said that most attacks come from beyond our shores, so that requires international engagement.

He said that helping foreign governments fight cyber crime is 'a huge elephant' and some work has been completed under the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative, but a lot of work still needs to be done.

“It is not just about legislative efforts or helping law enforcement, but being better at fighting cyber crime,” he said.

“When government itself is insecure and you have a government official using a Hotmail account to exchange information and there is no connection between government and critical national infrastructure, you start to realise that there is a bigger job than you first thought and it seems to me that we are in a new era of nation building and it is in cyber space."

He said that after building a transport and communications infrastructure, the next emphasis should be on getting cyber resilience right in developed and undeveloped countries.

Lyons also said that more work needs to be done on the education, awareness and training of small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) as they account for 90 per cent of growth in any GDP, however as they do not have the ability and finance to pay for their own information security specialists, they need help and advice.

“That is work that we have founded over the last couple of years,” he said. He also said that among the required capabilities are the development of a computer emergency readiness team (CERT) to be able to respond to threats, the development of digital forensic skills and developing centres of excellence.

He said: “The only way we feel we are going to get sustainable improvement in those countries is with engagement with the private sector, multi-national companies that have outreach and operations in those countries.”

Lyons concluded by saying that he would like to see 'cyber aid' given as part of financial support, not extra support, and a portion of aid being used to carry out this work. "The money is already there, international aid is about governance, security and wealth creation, what part of those three things isn't commencement with cyber resilience and an environment where businesses can flourish?" he asked.

"My call today is for cyber aid to become part of international aid; the money is already there so let's spend it wisely in that particular direction. There isn't enough coordination and if governments get too involved closely it will not happen, because national priorities start to take over."


Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Video and interviews