JIS News

With the increase in online activity due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team (Ja-CIRT) is urging persons to be extra vigilant in order to guard against cyberthreat.

“From schools to businesses and even the hustlers on the streets, everyone is going online; therefore, the potential number of cybercrime victims has increased exponentially since the early days of the pandemic,” Head of Ja-CIRT, Lieutenant Colonel Godphey Sterling, told JIS News.

He said that the Government continues to develop a robust cybersecurity framework geared at protecting the nation’s interests, and noted that the partnership of citizens and businesses is critical in order to ensure the effectiveness of the measures.

“The Government is committed to building a safe digital Jamaica as cyberspace changes daily and the world enters the fourth industrial revolution. However, citizens must be able to monitor threats and make the requisite early warnings,” he noted.

Lt. Col. Sterling said that knowledge of the Cybersecurity Act is one way businesses and citizens can protect themselves against falling victim to cybercrime.

“We want to engage citizens and ensure that they are aware of the threats, pitfalls and best ways of using cyberspace, which is outlined in the Cybersecurity Act,” he pointed out.

Lt. Col. Sterling made a special appeal for parents and guardians to monitor their children’s activities online as they engage in digital learning.

“Children can be considered the most vulnerable members of society, so it is up to us to protect them even in cyberspace. Ensure you have discussions with your children about their online activities; let them know to avoid clicking strange links and engaging with strangers on the Internet,” he encouraged.

To report cyber incidents or garner information on widespread, emerging security threats and the recommended corrective actions, person may visit https://www.cirt.gov.jm.

Ja-CIRT is an entity under the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, charged with creating a framework to build and enhance confidence in the use of cyberspace, with a view to advancing Jamaica’s economic interests and maintaining national security under all conditions.

It is responsible for coordinating cyber-related incident response, timely recovery from incidents, rapid distribution of advisories and alerts within the Government; and continuous monitoring of threats to the Government’s information technology (IT) resources.

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