In September, the Iowa International Center virtually welcomed 16 international visitors from across Africa who participated in a cybersecurity program that highlighted the need for global collaboration. Cybersecurity is an issue that transgresses borders. By bringing together professionals from around the world, we can work together towards building a safer cyberspace for all.
As a 2021 report from Norton, an antivirus and security software company, states, “more than half of all consumers have experienced a cybercrime, with around one in three falling victim in the past year alone.”
Cybersecurity attacks are seemingly from everywhere, and sharing international ideas and processes can help combat these cyberattacks. As one participant Jerry Kabema, IT specialist and tech entrepreneur from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said, “International perspectives are indispensable. Global collaboration will lighten the task of every country to reduce cyberattacks.”
Another participant, David Mawazo, a cybersecurity analyst from Kenya, strengthens alliances with other countries by building personal and professional relationships with people from the program working toward promoting cybersecurity in Africa. “The IVLP program provides a platform to formulate partnerships and collaboration avenues, and this session was no exception,” Mawazo said.
Collaboration allows for international exchange about cybersecurity policy, education, and other tools or processes to counter cyber threats. Inspired by the presentations from the program, another participant, Foldestine Paye, feels more equipped to promote cybersecurity awareness in his country. As a technologist, researcher, and cybersecurity expert from Liberia, he plans to create change using new perspectives from the program. Paye aspires to make a difference using his cybersecurity book, “Be A Good Digital Citizen,” and proposing new policies that create a website to report cybercrime cases in Liberia and technical training to judges and youth.
Through this virtual program Iowa International Center could see meaningful connections being built through passionate discussions and sincere interest. Partnerships become vital as the growing use of digital technology in our everyday lives poses greater and more complex cyber threats. As one participant, Jennita Appanah Appayya, an information security consultant from Mauritius, said, “Countries alone cannot fight against these types of threats. International collaboration is essential to the whole process. “