Cyber security strengthens in the Pacific with the launch of SamCERT

A partnership between New Zealand and Samoa has strengthened cyber security resilience in the Pacific with the establishment of the region’s latest national computer emergency response team (CERT).

27 May 2021

SamCERT will support Samoans and local organisations that have experienced a cyber security incident, develop a comprehensive understanding of potential cyber threats to the country, and help the population develop good cyber security practices.

CERT NZ worked closely with Samoa’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to support the set up of the cyber security agency. As well as providing assistance with IT security and office equipment, CERT NZ shared best practice advice and resources to develop a foundation from which the agency can build its services.

Samoa joins Tonga, Vanuatu, Papa New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific’s national CERT community.

“I’m really pleased to welcome SamCERT into the fold”, says Rob Pope, Director of CERT NZ.

“New Zealand has a close relationship with the Pacific nations, and as more of our lives move online it’s important now more than ever to form a united front against cyber attackers.

“We’re not immune to cyber attacks, and attacks that start at the other side of the world can quickly reach our shores. Taking a preventative and collaborative approach will help us as a community to weather a storm.”

Fualau Talatalaga Mata’u Matafeo, Chief Executive Officer for the Samoa Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), said, “The national CERT (SamCERT) has been a Government dream for quite some time now.

“The launch will not only provide the necessary national support for the people of Samoa in utilising the cyber space, it will also show Samoa’s Commitment to strengthen the safety and security of our region’s digital space through developing secure platforms and infrastructures.”

SamCERT will be operating under MCIT and will primarily focus its resources on strengthening and building Samoa’s cyber security profile in areas of awareness and Incident response.

“After a lot of planning and hard work, we’re thrilled to launch SamCERT”, says Fualau.  “We look forward to working with CERT NZ and other CERTs, both in the Pacific Region and around the World, to build a safer cyber space for the people of Samoa and the world.”

Through its wider Pacific Partnership Programme, which is funded through the New Zealand Aid Programme, CERT NZ is supporting Pacific countries to build their cyber security capability by providing tailored advice, incident response support and community engagement including organising remote workshops.

“Supporting our neighbouring Pacific islands is mutually beneficial. As well as having a cyber secure Pacific, sharing insights between countries will enable New Zealand to better prepare for any attacks heading our way,” says Rob Pope.

More information about SamCERT External Link — Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of Samoa