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EU and U.S. Join Forces to Help Developing World Cybersecurity

The United States and the European Union are planning to work together to secure digital infrastructure in developing countries. Here’s why this is vitally important.

Digital rendering of locks on a screen.
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal published the following story: U.S., EU Plan Joint Foreign Aid for Cybersecurity to Counter China.

Here’s an excerpt: “The U.S. and the European Union plan to introduce joint funding of secure digital infrastructure in developing countries, according to officials involved in the talks.

“The effort marks the first time the EU and U.S. will work together to fund and help protect other countries’ critical infrastructure against cyber attacks. By working together on cybersecurity, the EU and U.S. aim to help countries that otherwise might be eager to accept funding from China, an EU official said.

“Initial projects, likely in Africa or Latin America, could be under way by the end of the year, officials said. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has underscored the importance of supporting telecommunications networks and other hardware in countries vulnerable to nation-state cyber attacks, they said.

"The EU official said that Chinese technology can come with data-security risks. …”

The article goes on to describe how the war in Ukraine has added new urgency to these global efforts, and also describes how developing countries often struggle to keep current with cyber defense techniques and best practices.

On the same topic, reported that the U.S. and EU could fund cybersecurity improvements in developing countries. “Said to have emerged from the recently convened EU-US Trade Technology Council, the plan will see Europe and America fund programs to improve cybersecurity in areas where their respective policies align. This is likely to include measures to prevent the use of technology providers such as China’s Huawei, which have been identified as a security risk. …”

“… Central and South American nations have been regular targets for hackers in recent years, with the Lapsus$ gang beginning its campaign in Brazil by targeting the country’s health ministry, and more recently Costa Rica coming under a sustained barrage of attacks from the Conti ransomware gang, which crippled many of its public services.”


It has long been known that a coordinated global effort on cybersecurity is a must to have lasting success at home. “The Internet has no physical borders” is a common rallying cry regarding cyber protections.

In addition, the ability to police the Internet, bring cyber criminals to justice and cooperate on global objectives requires help from all nations.

The U.S. and NATO allies' well-documented concerns with online actions from China and Russia have created even more tension around the topic of global cybersecurity.

This video describes efforts to develop improved technology infrastructure and cybersecurity capabilities in developing countries.


Developing nations need better technology infrastructure and cybersecurity. I became intrigued by this wider topic back in 2009 when I visited South Africa, when I wrote this piece on: Out of Africa: Government Technology is a Global Theme.

I also wrote this piece for CSO Magazine about the need for global cybersecurity challenges we face.

And further to this topic, we now face a global supply chain shortage, cyber attacks from across the globe, not to mention fears of a global recession and global inflation.

While the USA and Europe have plenty of challenges ahead, developing countries face an even more difficult task, as the dollar grows stronger and the gaps in cyber-related activity widen.


All of these factors make this developing-nation cybersecurity issue a top concern and priority for the EU and the U.S. I think this is a good move by the Biden administration and our EU colleagues.

A time is coming when we will be very glad that we invested in protecting developing nations with cybersecurity investments, even if that means we need to spend precious dollars overseas to do it.
Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.