Action Brief: Women, Peace & (Cyber) Security in Asia and the Pacific
15 June 2022
Among the urgent challenges to peace and security posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, cybersecurity has emerged as a new and critical area for the application of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in Asia and the Pacific. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how advancements in the digital world can be leveraged to respond to threats to peace and security, with governments, technology companies, international organisations, and civil society alike announcing digital solutions to understand and respond to the pandemic.
The pandemic has also demonstrated that digital solutions must be supported by strong cybersecurity frameworks. From cyberattacks on hospitals, medical research facilities, and other essential infrastructure, to malware in fake World Health Organisation (WHO) information apps, to phishing emails offering personal protective equipment, and digital surveillance and contact tracing, COVID-19 has placed cybersecurity front and center of current peace and security discussions, including by the Security Council, and highlighted the next frontier for the WPS agenda.