The Organization of American States (OAS) has partnered with the Government to implement an early warning system that will assist in safeguarding Jamaica’s cyber infrastructure, through the use of security information and event management to ensure timely intrusion detection.
The initiative was facilitated through the OAS Inter-American Committee against Terrorism, working in tandem with the Jamaica Cyber-Incident Response Team (JaCIRT).
Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Hon. Daryl Vaz, said that the system will enable JaCIRT to provide alerts as soon as there is exploitation of known vulnerabilities or zero-day events.
He was making his 2021/22 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 18), under the theme ‘Science, Energy and Technology: Building a Brighter Future’.
Mr. Vaz said that through active cyberthreat research, near real-time information is provided to public and private entities consequent on JaCIRT’s persistent horizon scan of new and emergent threats presenting a clear and present danger to information technology systems in Jamaica.
“These systems are helping to fortify Jamaica’s cyber infrastructure by [providing] a more proactive approach in dealing with cyberthreats,” he noted.
Mr. Vaz advised that JaCIRT’s website is being revamped to facilitate anonymous reporting of cyber breaches, as well as the uploading of artefacts for analysis by the team.
He noted that this will significantly improve the entity’s ability to respond more effectively to specific cyber events.
He said, further, that under the Plan Secure Jamaica umbrella, the capability of JaCIRT will be significantly bolstered to provide increased capacity for effective service delivery.
Mr. Vaz, who also chairs Parliament’s Joint Select Committee reviewing the Cybercrimes Act, 2015, underscored the “fundamental importance” of Jamaica having a strong legislative framework that addresses current cybersecurity realities and potential future developments that may occur.
He said that a strengthened legislative provision will assist JaCIRT’s work and bolster efforts at improving the cybersecurity ecosystem in the public sector.
“As a Ministry, we are improving our capacity to respond to cyberattacks in the public service. This is extremely important, given the move to e-government, e-participation and, most important of all, a National Identification System,” he noted.