Applications close 29 November for FIRST’s Fellowship Program named after the late Suguru Yamaguchi

FIRST pledges to financially support up to four regions to ensure global integration of security teams

October 23rd, 2019 – The Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) has pledged to support up to four new CSIRT teams from developing countries from 2020 to 2022 through its annual Suguru Yamaguchi Fellowship Program. The Program allows countries and communities around the world to participate and integrate with the international community of CSIRT teams which strengthens global incident response. The Program is named after the late Dr. Suguru Yamaguchi, a former member of the Board of Directors for FIRST and a champion of CSIRT activities and human resource development in developing countries and recent winner of the Internet Hall of Fame. Applications for this year’s Program will close 29 November.

As a cybersecurity research pioneer and global leader in its deployment, Dr. Suguru Yamaguchi played an integral role in increasing the security of the Internet in Asia and around the world. He also led the founding of AfricaCERT, the African Forum of Computer Emergency Response Teams. Earlier this month, he was awarded the 2019 Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society. The award recognizes individuals worldwide who have played an extraordinary role in the conceptualization, building, and development of the global Internet.

From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Suguru Yamaguchi served as a board member of FIRST where he helped expand the organization’s outreach and education program to developing countries. The Fellowship Program was renamed in 2015 in acknowledgement of his countless achievements in pioneering and contributing to such activities.

Applications for this year’s Program ares now open until 30 November. The recipients will receive:
• Up to two heavily discounted passes to attend the FIRST Annual Conference per team, over the course of five years; • FIRST membership at a greatly reduced cost over a five-year period, provided they meet the minimum membership requirements within a year of attending the conference; • Lodging during the FIRST conference; • Transportation to the annual conference.

Potential applicants must be “computer security incident response teams”, with national coordination responsibility for a particular sector — for example, all government networks, private networks, educational networks, or a combination of those three.

CERT Tonga is one of the most recent teams to receive entrance into the Fellowship Program. Siosaia Vaipuna, Director of Tonga's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT Tonga) Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Communications and Climate Change (MEIDECC) has seen many benefits from their participation: “The Suguru Yamaguchi Fellowship Program provided a perfect opportunity for CERT Tonga to be introduced to the FIRST Conference, where we were fortunate enough to attend the conferences, learn from the workshops and presentations about tools and resources to assist the team in providing services for our constituents. This is especially useful for us as a new CERT learning the ropes and the conference provided the platform to network and receive first hand advice and experience sharing from more mature CSIRT teams and experts in the field."

Teams that are interested in applying to the Suguru Yamaguchi Fellowship Program are invited to visit https://www.first.org/global/fellowship for more information.

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About FIRST

Founded in 1990, the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) consists of internet emergency response teams from more than 360 corporations, government bodies, universities and other institutions across 78 countries in the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. It promotes cooperation among computer security incident response teams. For more information, visit: https://www.first.org.

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