2 posts categorized "Pacific Islands" Feed

May 27, 2015

Speaking at Australian Cyber Security Centre Conference 2015

G’day all – It’s Yuka again here from Global Coordination Division.

I would like to quickly update about my recent trip to Canberra, Australia, where I attended the inaugural conference of Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC).

The event attracted more than 800 people mainly from the Australian Government and IT related businesses but also some delegates from neighbouring countries.

ACSC consists of the following cyber security related entities in Australia:

ACSC’s first conference took place on 22-23 April at the National Convention Centre in Canberra, Australia.

There was a range of speakers from the above-listed organisations and also some outstanding guest speakers from academia and cyber security related vendors including:

LOCALS:

  • Attorney-General
  • ACSC Coordinator
  • Dept. of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Telstra
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Cisco
  • University of South Wales
  • CERT Australia
  • AU Domain Administration

INTERNATIONALS:

  • University of Washington
  • iSIGHT Partners
  • Dell SecureWorks
  • Team Cymru
  • Dutch Government
  • New Zealand Ministry of Defence
  • JPCERT/CC

I myself was given an opportunity to speak on the second day with the title: “International Cooperation on Cyber Space from CSIRT’s perspectives – JPCERT/CC’s outreach – “. The presentation covered:

- Overview of JPCERT/CC

- Incident statistics

- Collaboration with overseas CSIRTs

My presentation highlighted the importance of “collaboration among CSIRTs”. What we need to do in case of incidents across the border is to closely work with our counterpart in the region in question. To be able to timely respond to these urgent situations, constructing "trust relationship and network" on a day-to-day basis (before the incident happens!) is the key. That is why we often participate at international conferences and get engaged in global frameworks. We JPCERT/CC have been working both multi- and bi-laterally with various counterparts.

One of such activities includes JPCERT/CC’s outreach through Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT), signing of various Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) and capacity building efforts. Especially for the last item, JPCERT/CC has dispatched experts to establish a CSIRT covering the Pacific Islands and has provided technical support and trainings. Being a close neighbour, Australia has much interest in this topic – and JPCERT/CC is also willing to assist securing the region’s cyber space in any way we can.

Me delivering the talk (Photo provided by ACSC)
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There were also participants from vendors and a range of security related businesses – see how crowded the exhibition hall was!

People and booths at the Exhibition Hall (Photo provided by ACSC)
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What surprised me was the event web app – it seems like some conferences these days have started using similar tools. The biggest feature is that attendees using the web app can post questions to speakers throughout the session, and other attendees can vote “like” or “dislike” to each question. Supported questions are shown on the top of the page, which will be pointed to the speakers. This saves time, visualises what’s being asked (both for speakers and attendees) and allows efficient event running. Also, feedbacks on the sessions were submitted through this app – I believe this saves paper, too!

April in Canberra is a nice autumn season. I saw beautiful tree leaves turning yellow and orange. The city really was filled with lots of trees, and I enjoyed a little bit of early autumn.

As JPCERT/CC, we feel so honoured to be invited to such an important event in Australia. We hope to further collaborate with Australian cyber security related entities.

Thank you for reading.

- Yukako Uchida

Sep 06, 2011

A CSIRT Covering the Pacific Island Nations

"Bula" every one!! You will probably find it easy to assume from the context that this word means “Hello”, but can you guess what language it is?

It is Fijian.

Mr. Koichiro (Sparky) Komiyama and I (Kaori Umemura), as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) experts, were given the opportunity to visit Suva, the capital city of Fiji, to support the preparation to kickoff the Pacific Islands Computer Emergency Response Team (PacCERT), under the JICA's technical cooperation project "USP-JICA ICT for Human Development and Human Security Project".

The PacCERT aims to be a trusted point of contact for information and Internet security response affecting 22 Pacific Island countries. Their office will be located in the JapanPacific ICT Centre in the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva.

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JapanPacific ICT Centre

During our 2-week visit in mid to late July, we had meetings with parties of interest to PacCERT including the PacCERT Board chaired by USP, government officers, telco/ISP sector, banking sector etc., to draw up the supporting plan on PacCERT operation. Through the meetings with the parties, we learned that computer incidents in the region are coming to the surface and reaffirmed the need of PacCERT.

Sparky delivered a keynote speech entitled “Internet Security and Mission of PacCERT” at the Information Security Session of SPICTEX 2011, the first of its kind in Fiji and the region, and shared his views on the need of CSIRT and PacCERT. We believe that the speech helped expand the awareness of PacCERT’s existence to its potential constituency.

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Sparky at the Podium

 History of PacCERT and its Partner Organizations

To briefly review the PacCERT’s history, the necessity of CSIRT in the Pacific Island was first advocated in 2007 by various groups in the region, including Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC). After the idea of establishing PacCERT was endorsed by Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum 2009 held in Tonga, the Working Group and the partner organizations (the Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, AusCERT, ITU, IMPACT, JICA, JPCERT/CC, USP/JapanPacific ICT Centre etc.) maintained close contact for consultation. And in 2010, with an extensive contribution by ITU, AusCERT and the Australian government, the PacCERT Business Plan was finalized and approved.

With such continuous efforts by the interested parties, the PacCERT will have their personnel and infrastructure very soon. Following the well-conceived business plan, JPCERT/CC as the JICA expert wishes to support PacCERT with what we are good at; to provide them with the system setup support, technical training and outreach activity support until the end of 2012.

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A Flower Market in Suva

Challenges of PacCERT

The Pacific Island nations are geographically dispersed and have large variances in population size and Internet connectivity/penetration. There are only a handful of other regional CSIRTs in the world and as far as we know, none of them are operationally focused. This, combined with the large variations in population of the Pacific Island nations that are involved, makes PacCERT a unique situation.

In such a situation, we believe it is important to “think big, start small and start now”. PacCERT has already got their big goal in their business plan, so the next step is an immediate start in a small scale. A limited number of services being successfully delivered, will provide a strong foundation for the PacCERT and enable a smooth transition into a full CSIRT operation.

As one of the partner organizations of PacCERT, JPCERT/CC appreciates your close attention and cooperation to this new regional CSIRT!

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A Palm Tree by the Seashore

- Kaori Umemura -