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Cyber Security Prioritized under Paraguayan Presidency of Inter-American Committee against Terrorism

Cyber Security Prioritized under Paraguayan Presidency of Inter-American Committee against Terrorism

By Dialogo
May 06, 2015




Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) have elected the Republic of Paraguay to the presidency of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) for the 2015-2016 term. Elisa Ruiz Díaz Bariero, Paraguay's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OAS, thanked all the delegates for their votes during a speech at the 15th Committee session in Washington, D.C.

“This mandate entrusted to us is a great honor and commitment for our country’s government. We will strive to make CICTE’s goals a reality."

Under Paraguay's leadership, the agency is placing a greater emphasis on regional cyber security. CI was created in 1999 and ratified in June 2002 in an effort to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism, including cyber terrorism; to that end, member meet once a year to discuss their future plans. Frequent cyber attacks have focused those meetings on cyber security in recent years.

Cyber attacks are a regional concern


“CICTE has played an essential role in contributing to the creation of a culture and awareness about cyber security that encourages Latin American countries to work together both inside and outside the government,” said Francisco Denis Pereira, a security analyst at the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. “CICTE has made it possible for joint actions to continue their quick expansion throughout this hemisphere, because the OAS takes this subject very seriously.”

Overall, 44 percent of government institutions and critical industries -- such as communications, finance, manufacturing and the energy sector -- have faced cyber attacks, according to the “Report on Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure in the Americas,” published in 2015 by the OAS in collaboration with Trend Micro, a global security software company. Forty percent of government institutions and critical industries have experienced attempts to shut down their system.

The report includes practical cases from specific countries and a complete analysis of cyber attacks and the methods that were used. It provides a detailed explanation of the protective measures taken by government authorities and officials in critical private industries.

Encouraging cooperation


The report also encourages governments to talk to each other about cyber security issues in and in certain cases to do so confidentially, which will allow the governments to share experiences and solutions. In it, the Executive Secretary of CICTE, Neil Klopfenstein, stated that “the governments of Latin American countries and countries around the world must recognize the serious vulnerabilities in their critical infrastructure and the grave consequences those could have if they are not properly protected.”

The Paraguayan Cyber Incident Response Center (CERT-PY) helps Paraguayan authorities engage in cooperation in the fight against cyber attacks. For example, through continual security bulletins, reports, and publications, CERT-PY promotes awareness campaigns on the variety of problems that can affect government agencies, businesses, and individuals. Paraguayan authorities created the center in 2012 to serve as a central coordination office to handle various security incidents that affect the country's computer systems. It sends alerts about problems and works in coordination with the different government and private agencies, operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Paraguay developing a national cyber security plan


The around-the-clock operation of CERT-PY reflects Paraguay's commitment to cyber security.

Cooperation between the public and private sector is also an important component of this effort. For example, during the third session of the Ibero-American Information Security Congress and Fair – SEGURINFO 2015 – held in March in Asunción, Paraguay, attendees from the public and private sectors formed a working group to develop a national cyber security plan to be launched throughout the country in 2015.

More than 500 people from the public and private sectors, including leaders in information security and communications, attended the conference, which included panels and discussions on topics such as the protection of critical infrastructure; information security management systems; cyber security campaigns, and secure implementation of WiFi networks.

During SEGURINFO 2015, David Ocampos, Paraguay's Minister of Information Technology and Communication, emphasized in his announcement that “it is necessary to have the capability and organization to prevent and block any incident or cyber threat.”



Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS) have elected the Republic of Paraguay to the presidency of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE) for the 2015-2016 term. Elisa Ruiz Díaz Bariero, Paraguay's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the OAS, thanked all the delegates for their votes during a speech at the 15th Committee session in Washington, D.C.

“This mandate entrusted to us is a great honor and commitment for our country’s government. We will strive to make CICTE’s goals a reality."

Under Paraguay's leadership, the agency is placing a greater emphasis on regional cyber security. CI was created in 1999 and ratified in June 2002 in an effort to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism, including cyber terrorism; to that end, member meet once a year to discuss their future plans. Frequent cyber attacks have focused those meetings on cyber security in recent years.

Cyber attacks are a regional concern


“CICTE has played an essential role in contributing to the creation of a culture and awareness about cyber security that encourages Latin American countries to work together both inside and outside the government,” said Francisco Denis Pereira, a security analyst at the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. “CICTE has made it possible for joint actions to continue their quick expansion throughout this hemisphere, because the OAS takes this subject very seriously.”

Overall, 44 percent of government institutions and critical industries -- such as communications, finance, manufacturing and the energy sector -- have faced cyber attacks, according to the “Report on Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure in the Americas,” published in 2015 by the OAS in collaboration with Trend Micro, a global security software company. Forty percent of government institutions and critical industries have experienced attempts to shut down their system.

The report includes practical cases from specific countries and a complete analysis of cyber attacks and the methods that were used. It provides a detailed explanation of the protective measures taken by government authorities and officials in critical private industries.

Encouraging cooperation


The report also encourages governments to talk to each other about cyber security issues in and in certain cases to do so confidentially, which will allow the governments to share experiences and solutions. In it, the Executive Secretary of CICTE, Neil Klopfenstein, stated that “the governments of Latin American countries and countries around the world must recognize the serious vulnerabilities in their critical infrastructure and the grave consequences those could have if they are not properly protected.”

The Paraguayan Cyber Incident Response Center (CERT-PY) helps Paraguayan authorities engage in cooperation in the fight against cyber attacks. For example, through continual security bulletins, reports, and publications, CERT-PY promotes awareness campaigns on the variety of problems that can affect government agencies, businesses, and individuals. Paraguayan authorities created the center in 2012 to serve as a central coordination office to handle various security incidents that affect the country's computer systems. It sends alerts about problems and works in coordination with the different government and private agencies, operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Paraguay developing a national cyber security plan


The around-the-clock operation of CERT-PY reflects Paraguay's commitment to cyber security.

Cooperation between the public and private sector is also an important component of this effort. For example, during the third session of the Ibero-American Information Security Congress and Fair – SEGURINFO 2015 – held in March in Asunción, Paraguay, attendees from the public and private sectors formed a working group to develop a national cyber security plan to be launched throughout the country in 2015.

More than 500 people from the public and private sectors, including leaders in information security and communications, attended the conference, which included panels and discussions on topics such as the protection of critical infrastructure; information security management systems; cyber security campaigns, and secure implementation of WiFi networks.

During SEGURINFO 2015, David Ocampos, Paraguay's Minister of Information Technology and Communication, emphasized in his announcement that “it is necessary to have the capability and organization to prevent and block any incident or cyber threat.”
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