MinTIC - OAS Agreement Strengthens Colombian Students' Capabilities in Digital Security

Washington D.C., November 30th, 2016 - Colombia was one of the four countries selected by the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) toreceive full scholarships for the project "Creating a Career in Digital Security"in its young students, which aims to empower students from communities of low income and promote their training for careers in digital security issues. This program is implemented by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Cybersecurity program of The Inter-American Committee Secretariat against Terrorism (CICTE) of the OAS, and is funded by Citi Foundation, in addition to the support of other international and local actors from the private sector, civil society and government.

"Creating a Career in Digital Security" is part of the Citi Foundation “Paths to Progress”, a global initiative to prepare young people with the tools they need for their careers and have the necessary opportunities to thrive in actual economy. "To compete in the 21st century economy, young people need access to opportunities that support their professional aspirations, build their skills, and give them the confidence they need to reach success," said Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation. "This new program with YABT and the OAS responds to the need of having qualified employees in the growing field of information technology in Latin America and empower local youth to acquire the essential experience to access meaningful positions in this field ".

The beneficiaries of this project will be known next Wednesday, November 30, date in which the International Day of Digital Security is celebrated in more than 40 countries. Students will receive the certification of the program,that will provide them with the necessary knowledge to access entry-level positions in the field of digital security, and support in obtaining a professional practice. Colombia is part of this programthanks tothe Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (MinTIC)management.

The syllabus includes topics such as: principles of information security architecture, network security, systems, applications,data, and security implications related to the adoption of emerging technologies, among others. This syllabus will also provide students with the opportunity to take a test and receive a certificate of international recognition, which will serve as evidence of the knowledge and skills acquired. In addition, students will be exposed to real-life scenarios that will show the link between digital security and business management decisions. This will be in collaboration with members of the private sector, such as Ernst and Young.

Vice Minister IT of MinTIC, Daniel Quintero Callesaid "The successful implementation of this initiative in Colombia will offer these young people greater opportunities for education and employment, and is intended to raise the interest of other students and professionals recently graduated in order to generate a greater offer of qualified professionals in digital security ". On his side, Jorge Bejarano, Director of Standards and IT Architecture at MinTIC, highlighted that "this project is aligned with the objectives of the National Digital Security Policy, Conpes 3854 document of 2016, and is a complementof existing national initiatives in the area of digital security training".

In this regard, Alison August Treppel, Interim Executive Secretary of the OAS/CICTE, thanked both the Government of Colombia and the Citi Foundation for allowing the implementation of this initiative. The CICTE Secretariat mentioned the importance of building digital security capacities, particularly in the young people of the region, since they are the ones who will be able to develop new ideas and propose new ways of action in this area. August Treppel also congratulated the Government of Colombia for the adoption of the Digital Security Policy as a key instrument to protect society from growing digital threats.

In addition, Minister David Luna highlighted that the "permanent support of the OAS tocontinuing to advance the country in the area of digital security and generate new initiatives for Colombia to have a conducive digital environment to developeconomic and social prosperity".

"Digital security opens opportunities in the field of entrepreneurship. So we need young people inspired by innovation to develop technological solutions tailoredfor the business and government community, as well as the growing Internet consumer market, "said Edgar Maestre, Director of Programs for Latin America.