UNICC and FAO Strengthen Partnership through UNICC’s Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence

Towards a more holistic approach to Information Security and Risk Management

6 June, 2023

Photo: UNICC

FAO and UNICC have been working together since 2019 in Information Security and Risk Management areas. This progressive and steady collaboration has led to a strategic partnership to holistically enhance the FAO security posture to improve readiness for cybersecurity challenges, including unknowns of digital transformation and new areas of exposure, as part of a UN Information Security ecosystem. 

In this spirit, Sameer Chauhan, Director, and Tima Soni, Chief of the Cybersecurity Division, from UNICC, Dejan Jakovljevic, Director of Digitalization and Informatics Division and Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Felice Andrea Vietri, Head of Information Security from FAO, met at the UNICC Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence in Valencia, Spain.

The strategic partnership between UNICC and FAO marks a key milestone in our goal to operate as a true global UN system, with the talented experts in the UNICC Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence sharing their knowledge and expertise, working closer than ever with our UN system partners to protect the whole UN family. 

Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC

‘These past months, our work has been strongly focusing on consolidation and collaboration. In FAO, we have been strengthening efforts towards reinforcing and fine tuning existing detection, prevention and response IT security modalities, as well as fostering and joining forces both within the Organization and as part of the UN System – to be stronger together’ said Dejan Jakovljevic, Director of FAO’s Digitalization and Informatics division and CIO during his official visit to the Valencia Centre of Excellence on 19-20th April.

The partnership between the two organizations includes the development and implementation of a comprehensive cyber maturity programme of work as well as an enhanced collaboration modality. This will see FAO leveraging the entire end-to-end range of cybersecurity services from UNICC and support of its highly talented cybersecurity experts operating in the UNICC Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence working in partnership as one.

‘With this, we expect to help FAO to achieve a better and more efficient information security and risk management function, bringing together, as a comprehensive package with the UN System integration, know how and more sustainability and resilience, including from financial, scalability, performance and continuity perspectives, further explained Felice Andrea Vietri, head of IT Security at FAO, now based in the Valencia’s UNICC Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence, to further strengthen the existing trust and bonds between the two organizations.

With the support of UNICC, FAO has been able to implement and manage state of the art cyber solutions with the deep expertise of highly talented cybersecurity experts with an extremely cost-effective approach. FAO has been able to detect, respond and contain cyber threats as they happen and this has been a significant achievement as this reduces the overall cost of responding to cyber threats.

All the work undertaken in 2022 with the UNICC Centre of Excellence has already left our organization with a much better security posture and with a clear strategic path to face any upcoming challenges ahead. UNICC has been a key partner and we hope to continue scaling up this collaboration.

Dejan Jakovljevic, Director of Digitalization and Informatics Division and CIO, FAO

The joint vision of these two agencies has enabled the development of an inter-Agency team integrated as one providing several shared cybersecurity capabilities that are instrumental in enhancing the cybersecurity posture of several agencies that experience similar cyberthreats.

Tima Soni, Chief, Cybersecurity Division, UNICC

FAO and UNICC are looking forward to strengthening the successful partnership in support of FAO’s Information security and risk management function and programme of work.

Group photo at UNICC OF3 Valencia, Spain

Photo: UNICC