Office of the Prime Minister staff Pua Hunter (Director ICT) left, with Ben Ponia (Chief of Staff), Dr James Boorman who led the review and his associate Joe Fulwood on the right. Photo: Supplied/22062207
Cook Islands Government has partnered with the Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC) from Melbourne Australia, to undertake a Cyber Security Capacity Maturity Model for Nations (CMM) Review.
In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister said cybersecurity remained one of the key developments and security challenges facing the Cook Islands.
The CMM is a multi-dimensional
review of the Cook Islands capacity to manage complex cybersecurity risks and
is designed to help the country enhance its resilience to dangerous
technological threats, the statement said.
It was designed by the Global Cyber
Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) at the University of Oxford who will continue
to work as a collaborative research partner with OCSC throughout the
“With a growing reliance on
modern technology, the government recognises that a safe and secure digital
environment is now a fundamental feature of island life. Cybersecurity is
essential for protecting everything from citizens’ wellbeing to national
emergency responses and even critical infrastructure,” the statement said.
“If the islands want to
continue to grow their digital capabilities and experience the economic and
social benefits of digitisation, then it is also vital that the country takes
steps to modernise its cybersecurity capabilities at a pace equal to these developments.
The CMM review is helping the
Cook Islands to identify their own priorities for strengthening capacity and
building resilience, providing a pathway forward for the next steps of the
Led by Dr James Boorman, the
review took place over four days and was the OCSC’s first overseas CMM mission
since the beginning of the pandemic.
Dr Boorman and his research
team engaged with over 120 local decision makers and technical experts from
government, law enforcement, emergency response, criminal justice, education,
civil society, and the business community. Participants were separated into
several focus groups and asked to share their knowledge and understanding of
the local cybersecurity context across a range of different portfolios and
“Over the next three months
the findings will be developed into a detailed report by OCSC which will then
be handed to the government,” the statement said.