Jamaicans Urged to Protect Online Presence

Photo: Adrian Walker Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Wahkeen Murray (right), is in discussion with Head, Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Fitz Bailey (second left) during the launch of Cybersecurity Awareness Month at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on September 27. Others (from left) are Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn; and Head, Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team, Dr. Moniphia Hewling.

Story Highlights

  • The call was made by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Wahkeen Murray, as she addressed the launch of Cybersecurity Awareness Month at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on September 27.
  • Miss Murray encouraged businesses to ensure that staff at all levels receive cybersecurity awareness training, and that systems and networks are equipped with state-of-the-art protection mechanisms to mitigate cyberattacks as best as possible.
  • The major highlight will be Cybersecurity Awareness Day on October 26. Activities on the day will include a Business Leaders Breakfast Forum at The Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, and a road show in Mandela Park, Half-Way Tree.

Individuals and companies are being encouraged to exercise greater care in managing and protecting their online presence.

The call was made by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Wahkeen Murray, as she addressed the launch of Cybersecurity Awareness Month at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on September 27.

“Obviously, technological innovations have become an integral part of our lives; however, the onus is on all of us to protect ourselves and our data,” she said.

“Health, financial and personal records, among others, are vital information that if placed in the wrong hands, can affect our lives significantly,” she pointed out.

Miss Murray is urging individuals to use social media responsibly, and not to over share, as they never know who is accessing their information.

“Install the necessary firewalls, antivirus software and passwords on… devices and networks and think before clicking on suspicious links or installing apps that require personal information,” she advised.

Miss Murray encouraged businesses to ensure that staff at all levels receive cybersecurity awareness training, and that systems and networks are equipped with state-of-the-art protection mechanisms to mitigate cyberattacks as best as possible.

“We must remember that no business is too small to be hacked; no one is immune,” she noted.

She informed that a business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 40 seconds, and such attacks are estimated to increase to every 14 seconds by 2019.

She noted that cybercrime is projected to cost in excess of US$6 trillion annually by 2021.

Miss Murray said the Government is cognisant of the threats and has put a number of measures in place, including promulgation of a National Cybersecurity Strategy; establishing a Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team to respond to cyberattacks in government entities; and the tabling of the Data Protection Bill, which outlines the general principles of how personal data is collected, stored, shared and used.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is being held under the theme ‘Cybersecurity, our shared responsibility’.

The major highlight will be Cybersecurity Awareness Day on October 26. Activities on the day will include a Business Leaders Breakfast Forum at The Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, and a road show in Mandela Park, Half-Way Tree.

Other activities for the month include exhibitions, a jingle competition, social media campaign, school tours and training sessions for officers in ministries, agencies and departments.

JIS Social