Today’s geopolitical climate and incertitude, made more complicated by the recent economic global crisis, can only be tackled with a common policy and shared response.
Such a complex arena requires an equally complex policy response. Such a policy should recognize that there are many interdependent entities that share the burden of responsibility for the overall security of the international community.
Governance itself is not a new concept, and has recently been embraced (some would say re-embraced) by enterprises and governments worldwide, particularly in response to financial scandals and renewed government regulation. Sound governance practices have shown themselves to be beneficial through the identification of common goals, reduced costs, and compliance with statutory and regulatory obligations. Governance helps industries by enabling them to focus themselves, whilst dispensing with distractions in order to compete effectively and deliver value to its customers and shareholders. A governance approach to the new and evolving security environment at the national and international level can bring comparable benefits, and assist major security actors to focus on what matters to them. It would furthermore allow them to cooperate with each other and coordinate their activities, resulting in improved security.
The UNICRI Security Governance model is such an approach. The conceptual model shows that there is a ‘Common Zone’ at the intersection of responsibilities and areas of activity, in which there is:
- Identification of common goals;
- Synchronization of resources; and
- Establishment of a common language.
The UNICRI Security Governance approach makes it easier for governments and industries to train and prepare for situations by providing an opportunity to identify commonalities and unified approaches and solutions to problems.
It should be recognized that today’s security threats cannot be met and addressed by governments and agencies alone, even those with a tool such as Security Governance at their disposal, and nor should they be expected to. Industries, particularly in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), have a part to play both as partners and as beneficiaries of stable, secure and prosperous economies.
Further, the ICT industry’s involvement is recommendable to effectively address the increasing use of ICT to launch attacks against countries in cyberspace with the potential for resulting in disruption in the delivery of utilities and the availability of public and private sector services online and to reduce the added potentiality for disastrous consequences such as the failure of medical technologies, or even an explosion at power generation facilities, in the real world. When the Public and Private Sectors come together to solve often common challenges, it is usually not difficult to find success stories. Whether it is practical advice that stems from the use of Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) software, rather than often-expensive custom solutions for facilitating secure collaboration through video conferencing and document management, analyzing large volumes of data for patterns and connections, training and learning, or defending critical infrastructure (to name but a few), or in the form of more specialized relationships, it can be shown that Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are mutually beneficial to all parties.
The experience that Microsoft has with PPPs is convincing since they provide tangible benefits to all involved. Governments and agencies gain advantage from access to solutions, technology and Subject Matter Experts that they may not otherwise be able to benefit from. Private enterprises also gain insight into the challenges and problems at the national and international level on scales typically not found in their enterprise customer base, and which can spur new research and development efforts into next generation solutions that could result in new marketable products. Lastly, through PPP, it is not uncommon to find that private citizens can become empowered via the application of technology to better improve the social fabric and the delivery of Government to Citizen Services.