Last week, Perry Center Assistant Professor Kevin Newmeyer successfully defended his dissertation titled Cybersecurity Policy in Developing Nations: A Jamaica Case Study – a study that details the formation of the Jamaican government and private sector’s views of cybersecurity, government initiatives to build a national cybersecurity strategy, and the alignment of current efforts with emerging international best practices.
When asked why he chose the topic, Professor Newmeyer said “My PhD is in Public Policy and Administration. I have been interested in cybersecurity policy for a number of years, dating back to my time at the OAS Inter American Committee against Terrorism where I established their cybersecurity program and helped draft the OAS cybersecurity strategy. When I started doing my research I found that the developing world, and in particular the Caribbean, was an area with little published research on the implementation of cybersecurity strategies even though the risk of cybercrime and critical infrastructure attack only increases as more citizens become connected, especially via mobile technologies.”
According to Professor Newmeyer, outside of the US and Canada, only three nations in the Americas have published national cybersecurity strategies: Colombia, Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago. While each country’s strategy is different and reflects their own respective political, strategic and cultural realities, there are also many common themes emerging across these nations’ strategies that can be used to influence future policy.
Cybersecurity is an issue that is relevant for all regions. As technology and internet continue to evolve and expand, so must the tools and strategies needed to address the increasing prevalence and changing nature of these threats. While present international recommendations are improved and a consensus on best practices is beginning to emerge, there still remains a lot of work to be done. “All nationals and individuals face increasing risk to their digital information from advancing cyber threats. Nations have an obligation to take action to mitigate that risk as much as possible. That mitigation process begins with establishing a quality national cybersecurity strategy”, says Newmeyer.
Professor Newmeyer has worked to promote and advance cybersecurity strategic initiatives across the Western Hemisphere through his work with the Perry Center. He developed a cybersecurity course that was conducted for the first time last fall and has prepared the same class for use in region.
Newmeyer’s work on this issue has earned him respect and recognition both at home and abroad. He has been invited to speak on cybersecurity to several alumni groups and Perry Center partner organizations across the region. In May, he will be participating in a cybersecurity course with Colombia’s Escuela Superior de Guerra (ESDEGUE).
Join the Perry Center in congratulating Professor Newmeyer on his achievement and thanking him for the lasting contributions he has made to the cybersecurity field, the Perry Center and our partner institutions.