September 29th, 2017

ITU Telecom World 2017: “Multistakeholder participation key to effective national cybersecurity strategies”, says Shola Taylor

Secretary-General Shola Taylor also argued for more government investment to reach the unconnected as well as the need for a more optimal use of spectrum for the digital future.

LONDON, 29 SEPTEMBER 2017 – Shola Taylor, the secretary-general of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), has called on countries to address cybercrime and cyber threats through effective and harmonised national cybersecurity strategies with strong multistakeholder participation.

Mr Taylor was among industry leaders during the Leadership Summit discussion on “Building a resilient digital future” as part for the conference programme of the International Telecommunications Union’s Telecom World 2017 held in Busan, and which examined the potential risks in the global smart future and how best to counter them.

Cyberspace contributes significantly to achieving countries’ national development goals, and so international organisations, national security services, operators, intelligence and data protection agencies, as well as citizens all have a role to play in making cyberspace safer and more resilient,” Mr Taylor said as he shared the CTO’s experience in developing national cybersecurity strategies for Commonwealth member countries as well as other countries, including Senegal.

Shola Taylor (far right), secretary-general of the CTO participating in the Leadership Summit discussion.​

Mr Taylor’s message was articulated around three key points:

  • The digital future promised by smart cities, IoT, augmented reality applications and virtual environments offers enormous prospects for social and economic growth, with potential for more rapid impact on developing economies.
  • New forms of cyber threats will inevitably emerge, and to realise the full potential of a smart future, citizens must be able to use these technologies and services securely, and governments must ensure critical information infrastructure, e.g. power and health services, are immune from cyber attacks.
  • Comprehensive multistakeholder national cybersecurity strategies are needed to mitigate the risks, and this must be the basis of every nation’s digital ambitions.

Speaking also at a side event organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on “Financing models for ICT connectivity infrastructure“, Mr Taylor said that there is a need for a shift in the role governments should play in infrastructure investment.

According to WEF, lack of viable financing options for infrastructure remains a significant obstacle to achieving universal connectivity, and that whilst core networks have attracted a great deal of investment, they lack reach and capacity in regions characterised by low per-capita incomes and/or low population density.

“The growth of Internet penetration is showing signs of slowing down, so it is time to accept that relying on private-sector investment alone has shown its limits,” Mr Taylor said.

Taking part in the session on “Enabling and shaping the wireless ecosystem: Celebrating the 90th anniversary of CCIR/ITU-R Study Groups“, Mr Taylor also argued that good spectrum management will be critical to the digital future (see more at: https://telecomworld.itu.int/blog/spectrum-digital-future-spectrum-basic-broadband-access/).

For more information please contact Emma Killick, e.killick@cto.int or +44 20 8600 3813.

About the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies. With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs. More information about us here