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Sharing the Success: Lessons for developing effective cyber capacity partnerships

Last week in Ghana Principal Consultant, Samuel Tew, participated in a panel to discuss the work Axon Consulting has been undertaking with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as part of the CyberForGood initiative, including helping Least Developed Countries (LDC) develop their National Cybersecurity Strategies.

The panel: Sharing the success: lessons for developing effective cyber capacity partnerships at the Global Conference on Cyber Capacity Building (GC3B) took place in Accra, Ghana on Thursday 30 November.

On the panel, Samuel was joined by several members from national and international organisations to discuss how countries with limited resources face several challenges when it comes to building effective cybersecurity strategies. Addressing these challenges requires a multi-faceted approach that includes strategic planning, international collaboration, capacity building, and leveraging available resources efficiently.

Panel members included:

  • Samuel Tew – Principal Consultant, Axon
  • H.E. Regine Grienberger – Cyber Ambassador, German Federal Foreign Office Berlin
  • Mr. Christopher Banda – Head of Malawi, CERT
  • Ms. Rebecca Sewards – United Kingdom Government, Home Office (co-SRO Cyber Capability Building Programme)
  • Mrs. Vanessa Copetti Cravo, Cybersecurity Technical Group. Anatel

They discussed the varying levels of support offered to countries in the context of cybersecurity capacity building, including the dynamics and constraints of the relationships between donor countries, beneficiary countries and implementation partners.

However, international cybersecurity partnerships face several challenges, with differing government priorities leading to misalignment in efforts and resources. Conducting comprehensive risk assessments for each country is hindered by resource constraints, complicating the accurate evaluation of global cybersecurity landscapes. Limited funding and personnel further complicate the delicate balance between urgent needs, strategic priorities, and available resources, while bureaucratic hurdles within government structures slow down partnership selection processes.

Balancing a structured, strategic approach with flexibility remains an ongoing challenge, heightened by the necessity of understanding cultural and political nuances in potential partner countries. Ensuring sustainability requires genuine commitment and ownership of cybersecurity capacity building efforts by selected partner nations. Despite these challenges, the consensus from discussions was that recognising the significance of effective partnerships in addressing global cybersecurity issues and adapting strategies based on lessons learned remains pivotal.

Concluding the panel, discussion turned to the role of the ITU which plays a vital role in fostering collaboration to bridge the gaps the panel highlighted above, serving as a platform for discussions and sharing best practices in areas like capacity building, 5G cybersecurity, and incident response.

Watch the video of the Panel: (from 1:16:45 to 2:35:30)