Technology Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Cybersecurity

Photo: Melroy Sterling Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, addresses Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Information Technology (IT) departments of the Public Sector, at a Cyber and Data Security Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on July 1.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, has reaffirmed Government’s commitment to strengthen its cybersecurity capacity to protect sensitive information held on public-sector information technology (IT) platforms.
  • “The Government is greatly aware and deeply concerned about cybersecurity issues. One of the great imperatives is public awareness; therefore, we must increase the awareness of cyberthreats and their associated risks,” the Minister emphasised.
  • Dr. Wheatley said the campaign would also assist children using computers under the Tablets in School programme. “We have to ensure that they are aware of the cyberthreats,” he said.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, has reaffirmed Government’s commitment to strengthen its cybersecurity capacity to protect sensitive information held on public-sector information technology (IT) platforms.

Addressing Chief Executive Officers and Heads of IT departments in the public sector at a Cyber and Data Security conference, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on July 1, Dr. Wheatley said as part of that determination, the administration will be launching a cybersecurity public-awareness campaign this month.

He said the Government considers cybersecurity a high priority, and the campaign will be sustained over four months from July to October 2016, when Cybersecurity Month will be observed.

“The Government is greatly aware and deeply concerned about cybersecurity issues. One of the great imperatives is public awareness; therefore, we must increase the awareness of cyberthreats and their associated risks,” the Minister emphasised.

Dr. Wheatley said statistics have indicated that up to 230,000 new malware are launched on a daily basis worldwide, posing a major threat to public cyber infrastructure.

The Minister said workers in the public sector will play a critical role in addressing cybersecurity issues,  hence  he is  encouraging them to ensure that a holistic approach be observed and adopted.

“Every employee must avoid opening suspicious e-mails, must store data securely, verify recipients of e-mails to be sent, encrypting data before e-mailing and store important data where it cannot be stolen or easily lost,” he advised.

Dr. Wheatley said the campaign would also assist children using computers under the Tablets in School programme. “We have to ensure that they are aware of the cyberthreats,” he said.

Dr. Wheatley pointed out that action has already started by the Government, including the strengthening of the legal and regulatory framework with the Data Protection Act, which is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the end of the 2016 financial year.

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