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OAS and FIRST Sign Agreement to Improve Hemispheric Response to Cyber Incidents

  May 28, 2015

The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) signed an agreement to cooperate in the promotion of a cyber security culture and measures to improve responses to cyber incidents.

According to the agreement, the OAS, through its Cyber Security Program of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), and FIRST will jointly organize technical incident response activities focused on the needs and challenges of OAS member states. These efforts will contribute to the implementation of the OAS “Comprehensive Inter-American Strategy to Combat Threats to Cyber Security” and the “Declaration on Strengthening Cyber Security in the Americas,” adopted by member states in 2004 and 2012, respectively.

The Executive Secretary of CICTE, Neil Klopfenstein, who signed the agreement on behalf of the OAS, described the partnership as another example of the commitment of the Organization to engage with the wider cyber security community. “It is imperative to work together as a global community to better coordinate cyber incident response efforts and to maximize the resources available for such efforts. This partnership with FIRST will allow our member states to better interact with other Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) around the globe when dealing with cyber incidents, and to share the latest information about incident response and prevention measures.”

Maarten Van Horenbeeck, President of FIRST, said that “developing good global representation of incident response teams is crucial to enabling the security community to respond effectively to major cyber security incidents. We are excited about how this agreement with the OAS will enable us to collaborate on developing opportunities for the community, and introduce new organizations into the incident response community.”

FIRST is an international confederation of trusted computer incident response teams. It provides a forum to facilitate trusted interactions among CSIRTs, enabling them to respond more effectively to security incidents by providing access to best practices, tools, and trusted communication.

The Cyber Security Program of the OAS and FIRST are planning a Technical Colloquium and a Cyber Security Workshop to take place from September 29 to October 2, 2015, at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC. The event will include training on the “TRANSITs” methodology, industrial control systems (ICS), and advanced threats. To register for this activity please click here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-190/15