JIS News

A Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT), which will assist in the protection of Jamaica’s Internet infrastructure by coordinating defences against and responses to cyber attacks and threats, is expected to be implemented in December.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, made the announcement in his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 28.

He said the team will serve as a trusted national point of contact/clearinghouse for cyber threat identification, defence coordination and management.

Mr. Robinson said it will also enable the development of an infrastructure for coordinating response to threats, and conduct incident, vulnerability and artefact analyses. It will also help organisations develop their own incident management capabilities, he noted.

Mr. Robinson informed that the Government has entered into an agreement with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to provide technical assistance to establish the CERT and to assist in the building and deployment of the related technical capabilities. He informed that stakeholder consultations are set to begin in June.

Deliverables under the project include: the establishment of a functioning national CERT, which is able to provide its constituents with a basic set of services, that will identify, respond to, and manage cyber threats; identification of a national critical information infrastructure sectors and establishment of a foundation that will be able to further elaborate and implement a national cyber security strategy; and to build local capabilities and knowledge transfer.

Mr. Robinson, in the meantime, informed that the amended cybercrimes legislation will be tabled in Parliament by December 2013.

The Proposed Act aims to strengthen the existing legal framework and ensure that it is consistent with international best practice, as well as able to effectively criminalise emerging types of cybercrime.

The Cybercrimes Act was promulgated in 2010. Section 21 of the Act requires that its provisions be reviewed by a Joint Select Committee of the Houses of Parliament after the expiration of two years from the date of commencement of the Act.

Mr. Robinson informed that in February of this year, the Joint Select Committee was established, pointing out that submissions were received from a number of public and private sector organisations and individuals.

He added that a summary of recommendations is to be examined by the Committee in June, and the final committee report presented to the Houses of Parliament by July.

Contact: Chris Patterson

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