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OAS - Organization of American States : OAS Joins World Economic Forum Cyber Security Initiative

09/27/2012 | 04:40pm US/Eastern
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OAS Joins World Economic Forum Cyber Security Initiative   September 27, 2012

As part of its ongoing efforts to enhance cyber security in the Western Hemisphere, the Organization of American States (OAS) General Secretariat has formally joined the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Partnering for Cyber Resilience Initiative.

The OAS Secretary General, Jose Miguel Insulza, said "joining the WEF's Partnering for Cyber Resilience is another demonstration of our organization's commitment to promoting cyber security, not just in the region, but worldwide," and called on other governments and organizations to join this important initiative. Secretary Insulza added that, "recognizing the value that new technologies have for development and security, the OAS is making great efforts to contribute to their promotion and to stimulate public-private interaction in issues as delicate and relevant as cyber security."

In formally signaling its commitment to the principles and guidelines underlying the Partnering for Cyber Resilience Initiative, the OAS joins numerous other regional and international leaders in cyber security, including ICANN, Lockheed Martin, Visa, HSBC, Grupo Prisa, numerous other banks and financial institutions, and public entities including the governments of Colombia and Japan.

"There is a rapidly growing realization at all levels of business and government that cyber resilience is a critical issue in the protection of individuals, government and businesses" said Jean-Pierre Rosso, Chairman of the World Economic Forum USA. "The Organization of American States has been leading work with national governments across the Americas to raise this as a policy and business issue, facilitating the spread of best practices. We wish to extend a very warm welcome to the growing and diverse community committed to securing a safe and resilient cyberspace - ensuring that society can continue to enjoy the enormous social and economic benefits that global connectivity yields."

Launched in January 2012, the Partnering for Cyber Resilience Initiative calls on leaders in the public and private sectors to commit to a common set of shared principles for promoting increased cyber security with a greater focus on interdependence and resilience. Underpinning this commitment are four key principles:

1. Recognizing that all parties have a role in fostering a resilient and shared digital space;

2. Encouraging executive-level awareness and leadership on cyber risk management;

3. Developing a practical and effective implementation program; and

4. Encouraging partners to develop a similar level of awareness and commitment to cyber security.

Putting these principles into practice - and ensuring that the full benefits of the internet and information technologies reach all citizens and businesses the world over - requires a robust and ongoing dialogue among all relevant stakeholders, across all different sectors. Such a collaborative approach is central to both the Inter-American Cyber Security Strategy, adopted in 2004, and the more recent 2012 Declaration on Strengthening Cyber Security in the Americas.

OAS efforts since 2004 to promote greater cyber security in the Americas reflect, and indeed have relied on, Member States' own commitment to work to secure their networks and critical information infrastructure. Through the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) of the Secretariat of Multidimensional Security (SMS), the OAS has worked extensively to raise cyber security awareness and bolster individual Member States' capabilities, as well as to foster the growth of a regional community of cyber security stakeholders and collaborators. These efforts have entailed a broad range of activities, including technical training and capacity building courses, policy-level discussions, and cyber security exercises and simulations, among others. The Cyber Crime Working Group of the Meeting of Ministers of Justice of Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA) and the Inter-American Telecommunications Commission (CITEL) have collaborated in the execution of some of the aforementioned activities as well as others aimed at combating cyber crime and promoting a more effective regime of regulations and standards pertaining to cyber security.

In addition to working to improve cyber resilience within individual Member States and the region as a whole, the OAS has endeavored to become a model of cyber resilience in its own right. The Department of Information and Technology Services (DOITS) of the Secretariat of Administration and Finance (SAF) has developed a cutting edge capacity for protecting the organization's networks and users, and has taken a position at the forefront of the ever-evolving cyber security landscape.

For more information about the Partnering for Cyber Resilience Initiative, please visit http://www.weforum.org/issues/partnering-cyber-resilience-pcr.

For more information on the OAS Cyber Security Program, please visit http://www.oas.org/cyber/ and/or contact cybersecurity@oas.org.

Reference: E-337/12

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