Jamaica’s implementation of a National Cyber Security Strategy to make the country safe for business operation, and to provide security for persons using the Internet, has received international commendation.
Lauding the move, United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Luis G. Moreno, says cyber crime is a global challenge, and the fact that Jamaica was able to garner the skills from the private sector, and internationally, to establish its own preventative mechanisms, shows the seriousness with which it values safety for the business community, and the wider online users.
“It (cyber crime) is an enormous toll on global resources, and Jamaica is not spared from that risk. So, I commend the Government for its foresight and initiative in reassuring foreign and domestic companies that Jamaica takes economic espionage seriously,” the Ambassador said, while addressing the recent launch of the Strategy, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston.
Outlining the importance of cyber security, he notes that the Strategy is “providing infrastructure to help business, individuals and the Government to protect against cyber security breaches.”
“Better security, cyber and otherwise, means much more investment, and more jobs, and that is what we are looking for in Jamaica,” he noted.
Part of the National Cyber Security Strategy is making sure that legal and law enforcement professionals have the necessary training to tackle cyber crimes effectively; promoting the exchange of information, intelligence and expertise with respect to cyber crimes; and encouraging cooperation with national, regional and international entities.
Giving his support to Jamaica’s efforts to tackle cyber crimes, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency David Fitton, said his country is “determined” to help the country in the fight.
“All aspects of cyber security are important, and we work here in Jamaica with the operational arm of the security services to help with the cyber security approach of Jamaica. The launch is extremely important, and taking it further, we are determined to work with you,” the High Commissioner said.
For his part, Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Robert Ready, argued that a secure reliable Internet is a necessary element to advance competitiveness in the global marketplace.
“It also gives our citizens the confidence to use the Internet to share information and ideas to organize themselves in the pursuit of shared social and economic goals,” he added.
Mr. Ready pointed out that Canada has provided resources to the Organization of American States (OAS), from which Jamaica received support to develop its cyber crime resistant capability, so that the region will be safe from online fraudsters.
“Canada is committed to working with states in the hemisphere to ensure we have a common approach, and able to prevent, monitor and respond to the threat of cyber attacks in the entire hemisphere. Through efforts such as these, we will be able to identify innovative ways to tackle complex challenges, and reduce cyber threats,” he said.
Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, said that other countries can learn from Jamaica in fighting online fraud.
“The model is a sound one. I believe that this inclusive approach involving all the stakeholders is critically important, and I hope that your experience will be a good lesson to all the regions and other countries which have to follow in approving their national strategy,” he added.
Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, said the country could not have developed a strategy without the cooperation and assistance of its development partners.
“I thank them, because no country is immune from cyber criminal activities,” the State Minister emphasized.
With scores of business transactions being done via the Internet, the Government, with the formation of the Strategy, is ensuring that there is an updated and robust legislative framework that is appropriately aligned with international best practices, and creates a safe environment for all activities within the cyber domain.
“It is important as we put more Jamaicans online, that we have the necessary safeguards. A 10 per cent increase in broadband leads to about one per cent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth,” the Minister of State noted.
“We are providing the training in a number of courses, to ensure that we have Jamaicans who have the capability to deal with these threats,” he added.
Along with the updating of legislation to protect against cyber crimes, the Government has established a Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT), to prevent and respond to cyber threats.
The National Cyber Security Strategy was developed with technical support from the OAS, through financial contributions from the Governments of Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and organizations such as the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative, the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization, and the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre of the University of Oxford.
By Garfield L. Angus