JIS News

As the nation observes Cybersecurity Month this October, citizens are being urged by the Jamaica Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (Ja-CIRT) to report cybercrime to the police, especially given the increased online usage brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We are asking citizens to be vigilant and report all illegal online activities. Despite the vagaries of the current pandemic, we the practitioners of cybersecurity must endeavour to ensure that we secure the experience of Jamaica in cyberspace, and this is by no means a small feat given the increased level of online presence among citizens,” Head of Ja-CIRT in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Godphey Sterling, said.

He was speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank, on October 8.

“Globally, the number of victims of cybercrime has increased exponentially since the early days of the pandemic, so we want persons to report cybercrimes, so that we can stop the culprits and keep abreast of new emerging online criminal trends,” he shared.

Lt. Col. Sterling noted that the Government remains committed to building a digital society; however, cybersecurity awareness is crucial for this to occur successfully and safely.

“In going digital, the pillars of access to information, eCommerce, eLearning and an enhanced medical and security framework must be underpinned by modern harmonious laws that facilitate innovation and research. However, all this must be wrapped in a robust cybersecurity framework that is geared at supporting Jamaica’s national interest within cyberspace. The Government must be able to monitor the threat landscape and provide a requisite warning,” he argued.

Meanwhile, as Ja-CIRT and its partners observe Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Lt. Col. Sterling highlighted that citizens should familiarise themselves with the nation’s cyberlaws in the Cybersecurity Act.

“We would be feeling our way through the dark without some level of knowledge and understanding among citizens about cybersecurity, and that is why we acknowledge Cybersecurity Month each year to garner that level of awareness. We want to engage citizens and ensure that they are aware of the threats, pitfalls and best practices when using cyberspace,” he said.

To commemorate Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Ja-CIRT and partners will be hosting four virtual forums from October 8 to 26. The webinars will bring together public- and private-sector partners for a weekly series, focused on highlighting cyber risks and threats that may affect users and organisations, and provide tips and measures that can be taken to stay safe online. Interested persons can register for the events at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/M5YW8V5.

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