Publication date: 2021
The CyberPeace Builders is a network of corporate volunteers providing free assistance to Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) protecting vulnerable populations anywhere in the world. This model was developed after extensive consultations, prototyping and testing phases in 2020 to ensure that the necessary program support and legal requirements are in place.
The CyberPeace Builders program provides free pre- and post-incident assistance to NGOs in critical civilian sectors, such as healthcare, water and sanitation, food and agriculture, energy, information, etc. Pre-incident assistance includes provision of security assessments, awareness raising and incident-response capability building, training NGOs so they know how to respond, and who to contact. Post-incident assistance revolves around security hardening – tools, techniques, and best practices – to avoid reinfection. Support services are also provided such as data protection and privacy, communication, etc.
This is a unique contribution to meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 16 which aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions for all. The program members are all volunteers recruited from local and international companies and coordinated by the CyberPeace Institute. Regional advisors working for the CyberPeace Builders program on the ground act as liaisons between the corporate volunteers and supported NGOs, thus providing a localized and contextualised approach that ensures support is adapted to the needs of each NGO.
Through the CyberPeace Builders Program NGOs gain access to industry-grade expertise to understand cyberthreats for their NGO, to strengthen internal capabilities and upskill staff to increase their resilience to cyberattacks and maintain vital services. Actionable and concrete cybersecurity support by the CyberPeace Builders enables NGOs to demonstrate that they have done due diligence – taken their cybersecurity seriously – which builds trust with donors and beneficiaries of their services, protects sensitive data and can lead to budgetary savings.