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Story Highlights

  • Jamaica will be establishing a Cyber Incident Response Team as it moves to strengthen the country’s virtual security platform.
  • Technical assistance and support for the project will come from the International Telecoms Union (ITU), and the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), an arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), which will provide funding for the purchase of equipment and training of personnel.
  • Mr. Robinson noted that the country is currently developing a cyber security strategy and that, coupled with the proposed Cyber Incident Response Team, will improve the country’s capacity to tackle cyber crime head on.

Jamaica will be establishing a Cyber Incident Response Team as it moves to strengthen the country’s virtual security platform.

Technical assistance and support for the project will come from the International Telecoms Union (ITU), and the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), an arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), which will provide funding for the purchase of equipment and training of personnel.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (MSTEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, made the disclosure to JIS News, while providing details of his participation in a workshop hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the OAS in Washington, D.C. from October 22 to 24.

Mr. Robinson noted that the country is currently developing a cyber security strategy and that, coupled with the proposed Cyber Incident Response Team, will improve the country’s capacity to tackle cyber crime head on.

Mr. Robinson said the government is well aware of the global threat of cyber crime. “More than 1,400 financial institutions from 88 countries were victims of cyber attacks in 2013. In 2013, there were 253 large scale cyber security breaches in which the personal information of more than 600 million people was compromised, which is an increase of 62 per cent from the previous year.   Every day, there are 568,000 attacks on websites and more than 29 billion spam emails sent across the Internet,” he pointed out.

 

Mr. Robinson informed that to reduce the potential for these occurrences in Jamaica, the government has established a National Cyber Security Task Force, which co-ordinates all of the country’s effort in tackling cyber security and has reviewed and updated the Cyber Crime Act to strengthen the legislative framework.

He informed that the Act, promulgated by Parliament in December 2010, “provides criminal sanctions for the misuse of computer systems or data and the abuse of electronic means of completing transactions and facilitates the investigation and prosecution of cybercrimes.”

Other legislation in stemming cyber crime includes the Larceny Act, and the Interception of Communications Act.

A critical part of the process is building awareness among Jamaicans as well as training critical personnel such as the police.

Mr. Robinson said there will be a one week training session in cyber security in November, for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), who will be joined by personnel from the Dominican Police Force.

MSTEM is the lead government Ministry responsible for coordinating the prevention of and combating cybercrime, as well as providing policy support to all matters regarding cyber security.

Other entities involved in the prevention of and combating cybercrime include the Ministry of National Security, which manages and integrates cyber security within the areas of physical, information, intelligence and communications security, and the Ministry of Justice, which assists in the development of legislation and regulations to combat cybercrimes and cyber attacks.

The workshop in Washington was in response to this threat of cyber crime to the  Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC), which has so far cost Brazil and México some US$11 billion.

 

Mr. Robinson said the event facilitated discussion and knowledge sharing on cyber security and involved recognised public and private sector international experts.

He noted that the IDB will be providing technical assistance to support the design of cyber security policies that will allow LAC citizens to continue enjoying the benefits of the knowledge-based society in a secure cyber environment.

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