The United States and Costa Rica announced August 21 a collaborative security initiative that will strengthen Costa Rica’s cyber defenses against threats from malicious actors.
In San José, Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves and the Commander of U.S. Southern Command, General Laura J. Richardson, announced a three-year, $9.8 million U.S. funded security assistance initiative that will strengthen Costa Rica’s cyber defense capacity.
The initiative will help Costa Rica’s Ministry of Public Security establish a Cyber-Security Operations Center by 2026. The initiative includes state-of-the-art equipment, specialized training and logistics aid.
The United States will provide the funding for the initiative through a Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant.
“Because cyber-attacks by malign foreign actors often target critical infrastructure, industries, services, countering these attacks is absolutely critical to the national security of both of our countries,” said Gen. Richardson. “That is why the United States stands firmly with Costa Rica, in its defense of the nation’s critical networks, and the important data those networks contain and transmit.”
Gen. Richardson said that as both nations work to complete the center, the United States will continue its close cooperation with the government of Costa Rica on cyber defense and network security with training, professional education, conferences, subject matter expert exchanges, and multinational exercises.
Gen. Richardson also noted that later this year, the U.S. government will assign a full-time strategic advisor to assist the government of Costa Rica with bolstering its national cybersecurity policies and strategies.
“Our best-defense against cross-cutting, transboundary challenges and threats is to work together, leveraging the strength of our unity — Team Democracy –— using our combined capabilities, our collective resolve, and our shared commitment,” said Gen. Richardson.
The United States stands firmly with Costa Rica in its defense of its critical networks and commend the nation’s resilience in the face of recent cyber-attacks by malign state actors.
This initiative follows a succession of U.S. government initiatives and funding to support Costa Rican security, including:
- A $13.8 million in U.S.-funded security assistance package to support counter transnational criminal organizations.
- $25 million in funding to strengthen Costa Rica’s cyber defenses.
- A $7.4 million U.S.-funded engineering project for a maintenance facility and pier to support Costa Rican costal patrol vessels and operations in the Pacific.
- Funding for a coast guard station to support Costa Rican costal patrol vessels and operations on the Caribbean coast.
- A fleet of Coastal Patrol Vessels purchased with U.S. funding assistance for parts and operational maintenance.