One of the focus points during PANAMAX 2022 was cyber defense. Jamaica Defence Force Major Kayson Gunzell was part of the cyber cell during the multinational exercise. Diálogo talked to the Jamaican officer about his role during PANAMAX 2022.
Diálogo: Why is cyber defense such a hot topic at PANAMAX 2022?
Jamaica Defence Force Major Kayson Gunzell: Cyber is a domain that we are all trying to play in at the present moment. It’s a new domain that enables an attack on an adversary from any location in the world. You’re not limited to your geographic location, in terms of cyber, for the exercise, but we were limited in terms of our offensive capabilities. What is allowed, from a cyber perspective, is the ability to look at possible cyber targets and get a particular result by being a liaison and doing an interagency engagement. This exercise brought out a lot of considerations for threat actors within the cyber domain.
Diálogo: Can you elaborate a little bit more on what you said about being limited in terms of cyberattacks?
Maj. Gunzell: I would say it’s because cyber is a component that’s classified, so likely, we cannot expose certain types. We weren’t given that offensive directive. We were limited in terms of what we are, and not given a green light to do anything offensive, but we could engage in defensive type operations to cause an outcome, which would be an offensive manner. What would we do? A more passive approach, without using a cyber capability.
Diálogo: Was there any cyber activity by the exercise adversary worth mentioning?
Maj. Gunzell: The [adversary] uses the cyber domain as a primary means for their propaganda campaign. We could also see where they were trying to conduct some cyberattacks. In that case, we would have made that assessment and started putting the necessary contingency plan in place. So, in the event that there was an attack, the actual severity would be very limited.
Diálogo: What did Jamaica bring to the table from a cyber perspective?
Maj. Gunzell: We are developing our cyber capability in Jamaica. Even though I was the only Jamaican in the cyber cell, I was able to come here and fit right in, demonstrating that cyber is one language, a universal language. I was able to add value to the discussions as well, in terms of nominating considerations.