Wed | Nov 25, 2020

Jamaicans urged to be vigilant as cybercimes increase worldwide

Published:Saturday | October 10, 2020 | 5:00 PMJIS
Head of the Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team (Ja-CIRT) in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Lieutenant Colonel Godphey Sterling, speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ on October 8 (JIS photo).

(JIS): Jamaicans are being urged to be more vigilant as cyber crimes increase globally due to heavier usage and reliance on online tools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Quoting head of by the Jamaica Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (Ja-CIRT), Lt Col Godphey Sterling during its think tank session last week, the Jamaica Information Service said more people are being encouraged to report incidents.  

“We are asking citizens to be vigilant and report all illegal online activities. Despite the vagaries of the current pandemic, we the practitioners of cyber security 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,” Sterling said.

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

Sterling, whose team falls under the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, said the government remains committed to building a digital society, however, cyber security awareness is crucial for its success.

“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 cyber security 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 during October, Sterling emphasised that citizens should familiarise themselves with the nation’s cyber laws.

“We would be feeling our way through the dark without some level of knowledge and understanding among citizens about cyber security, 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 practises when using cyberspace,” he said.

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