JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is proactively putting measures in place to mitigate the global threat of cyber crimes in the island.
  • With the advances in technology and telecommunication have come new opportunities for persons to engage in criminal activities.
  • The CERT is expected to assist in the protection of Jamaica’s Internet infrastructure.

The Government is proactively putting measures in place to mitigate the global threat of cyber crimes in the island, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, has said.

Mr. Robinson pointed out that strategies such as amendments to the Cybercrimes Act; the establishment of a Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT); the setting up of the National Cyber Security Taskforce; training and capacity building, among others, are being pursued by the Government.

The State Minister was speaking at the National Conference on Cyber Security and Digital Forensics at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters, Mona, on Tuesday, October 1.

Individuals, businesses and Governments around the world use the internet as the primary medium for communication and for the delivery of services, such as finance, commerce, health care and education. However, with the advances in technology and telecommunication have come new opportunities for persons to engage in criminal activities.

Mr. Robinson said amendments to the Cybercrimes Act, to be tabled in Parliament shortly, will include new provisions that will bolster the legislation, while increasing penalties for cyber criminals.

He noted that these penalties will be deterrents for persons who commit such offences, pointing out that under the current Act, the penalties are not as harsh as they should be.

The State Minister also informed that provisions have been made for the Act to be reviewed on a consistent basis, as part of efforts to deal with the changing times, while ensuring that “the laws are consistent with the type of activities that are taking place.”

Commenting on the importance of the Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT), he said this will ensure that mechanisms are in place to deal with the threats whenever they may occur.

The CERT is expected to assist in the protection of Jamaica’s Internet infrastructure by co-ordinating defences against cyber attacks and threats.

“There is no proper organisation or mechanism to deal with the detection, tracking or mitigation of cyber attacks and cyber crimes at the Governmental level. Isolated cases are treated on an ad hoc basis either by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or the computer related departments in the Government. The country currently doesn’t have a medium to track and understand cyber crimes that are occurring in the country, and some of the types of crimes relate to finance, scamming, banking, viruses and fraud,” he noted.

The  State Minister  said  the establishment of the Cybercrimes Task Force, which is advisory in nature, provides advice to the Government on how to deal with cyber crimes. It comprises both members of the public and the private sector.

In addition, Mr. Robinson said collaborations with international stakeholders such as the Organization of American States and the training of personnel are some of the other measures being undertaken.

The National Conference on Cyber Security and Digital Forensics was held under the theme: ‘Protecting identity, banking and citizen information networks’.

It brought together a wide range of stakeholders under one roof in an effort to deepen understanding on the topic; to design regional and national strategic approaches; and to ultimately seek global and local solutions to the challenge of cyber crimes.

The conference was hosted by the Mona ICT Policy Centre and the Mona School of Business and Management, in partnership with the Global Internet Society and the law firm, Henlin Gibson Henlin.

It was sponsored by the National Commercial Bank, the Jamaica National Building Society, First Global Bank, the Jamaica Observer, the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) and CARIMAC.