The National University of Samoa Information and Communication Technology (ICT) division this week conducted a cyber security training well attended by 36 members of the public service from across various Ministries and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
Vice Chancellor Aiono Professor Alec Ekeroma welcomed the public sector participants to Le Papaigalagala as well as the Minister for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Toelupe Poumulinuku Onesemo who delivered the keynote address to mark the official opening of the two day course.
Supported by the Government of New Zealand with sponsorship support from Vodafone Samoa, the program is based on the internationally recognised Cyber Risk Assessment methodology OCTAVE Allegro™ with a certified and qualified software engineering institute instructor from Cyber 365 based in New Zealand who helped to deliver.
The training focused on enhancing the understanding of senior staff about cyber security and managing cyber security risks within their organisations.
NUS ICT Director Sarai Faleupolu Tevita told Samoa Global News their team has been pleasantly overwhelmed with the response from participants.
“We were aiming for 30 participants, but we have 36 who responded and have registered for the course,” said Mrs Tevita who adds that participants are not just IT staff, but also senior members of Finance, Internal Auditors and Legal Officers from their respective organisations.
“Our team here at NUS have worked hard to coordinate this program today and are privileged to be able to host senior public service members for this important training,” said the NUS IT Director.
Managing Director of Cyber 365, Mr Chris Ward speaking to Samoa Global News from New Zealand where he has been able to zoom in throughout the past two days, said it is important for public servants to be able to assess risks and ensure operational resilience within their organisations. Mr Ward has assisted the NUS IT team to deliver the certified, knowledge-based training.
“The training and risk assessments have the full backing of the Minister of MCIT and this is a step in the right direction to helping Samoa become more resilient to cyber-attacks..
“Attendees from multiple agencies will be issued with a completion certificate that can be used for career enhancement and professional education credits,” said Mr Ward.
“This is the first step of an ongoing program to help Samoa over the coming years so that there is a clear roadmap of threats, risks, and mitigation actions that will help secure the digital realm within Samoa.”
“The Government of New Zealand has offered to enhance Samoa’s Cyber security posture for Government through this staff training program, and there will also be a mentoring program on offer for conducting risk assessments and assist the implementation for participants once the training is complete,” added Ward.