“The only way to learn is doing real stuff”, Melanie Rieback (Radically Open Security) encouraged the attendees to take action at the end of her module. She was one of the TRANSITS I trainers at APAN45 that took place on 28-29 March in Singapore. Together with Nicole Harris (GÉANT, Legal module), Zuzana Duracinska (CZ.NIC z.s.p.o. / CSIRT.CZ, Operational module) and Jamie Gillespie (APNIC, Organisational module) they formed a team of TRANSITS I volunteer trainers to run the first of the trainings of the CSIRT Capacity Building in Asia project, funded by Asi@Connect, supported by TEIN*CC and GÉANT. The two-day meeting and training, filled with learning, sharing good and bad experiences, and building trust was attended by 17 participants from 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The requirement for such events was expressed last year at APAN44 in China, where a pilot meeting and mini-TRANSITS training took place. Back then, the need for building trust, capacity building and information sharing to improve the security incident readiness in Asia-Pacific and support for deployment of federated services such as eduroam and eduGAIN throughout their communities was identified. It was noted that APAN conferences would be good platform for such events.

And it was confirmed last week in Singapore, where the participants shared the need for knowledge and skills needed to build their own CSIRT teams at their home NRENs and similar institutions. In the survey conducted after the event, many participants claimed that they will now be more aware of the procedures they must follow to safeguard the security and privacy of their users. Some are planning to organise similar trainings and meetings in their constituencies and talk to their management about the need of a CSIRT team.

After the meeting, it was decided to continue communicating and sharing the best practices and other news between the attendees using a mailing list and a wiki page. It was also suggested that the group could organize regular calls and meet whenever possible to continue working together.

Big thank you to the volunteer trainers, who took their time to revise the course materials and conduct the training on a short notice and for the participants who took their time to attend and were very active, open-minded and productive.

The next CSIRT Capacity Building in Asia project training and meeting will take place at APAN46 in August in Auckland, New Zealand.