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Helping nations build cyber security capability: Jamaica

Strong WG

In March 2022, the Government of Jamaica’s Office of the National Security Advisor (ONSA) published the Caribbean Regional Cybersecurity Training Needs Analysis (TNA), which was designed and delivered by Protection Group International (PGI) and funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom.

The goal for ONSA, with the Caribbean Institute of Cyber Science (CICSci), is the development of a Cyber Academy that will facilitate the sustainable growth of a cadre of cyber skilled professionals in Jamaica and across the English-speaking Caribbean to enable Defence and public and private sector organisations to develop digital resilience through the development of a regional cybersecurity workforce.

Through consultation with the Organisation of American States, ONSA engaged PGI with the aim of developing research that would inform the development of the Academy’s vision, goals, curriculum, course material and commercial model. A training needs analysis was identified as the first appropriate step to assist ONSA and CICSci.

Over a four-month period, PGI undertook a consultation with stakeholders from 11 countries via the inaugural Caribbean Cybersecurity Skills Symposium and conducted open-source intelligence and one-to-one stakeholder interviews. Through this consultation, eight strategic drivers were identified that highlight the potential requirement of particular skillsets which are key to developing and building a strong cybersecurity workforce, as well as an enabling environment for Jamaica and the Caribbean region:

  • Acceleration of digital transformation national and regional efforts
  • Critical national infrastructure protection
  • Enforcement and compliance with national cybersecurity legislative and regulatory agendas
  • Capacity building in national security and the criminal justice system
  • Strengthening incident response capabilities
  • Adoption of security standards and controls
  • Improving national and international cooperation
  • Responding to the role of research and development

The report lays out how CICSci can meet Jamaica’s strategic goals, as well as the needs of the broader region, and position itself as the driving force behind regional skills development while being financially sustainable, reducing dependence upon international training providers and ensuring that it owns the evolution of national cyber workforce capability.

PGI’s Head of Capacity Building Practice, Lara Pace is very pleased with the outcome of the study and believes that Jamaica is on the path towards digital resilience.

“This study benefitted from the expertise and enthusiasm of stakeholders across Jamaica and the region and PGI is very proud to support efforts to strengthen cyber security workforce capacity and capability development to drive digital resilience across the Caribbean. Jamaica’s ambition in this regard and the willingness of ONSA to fold in their regional neighbours is inspiring and we look forward to supporting their future endeavours where we can,” Lara said.

Learn more about PGI’s Capacity Building practice and how we support nations to build the capability to respond to cyber threats.