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    May 22

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Cyber attack warning

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, shawncumberbatch@nationnews.com

Added 31 March 2016

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BARBADOS IS NOT READY for a cyber attack. Neither are any of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, a new study has found.

The Inter-American Development Bank, Organisation of American States and Oxford University produced The 2016 Cybersecurity Report, Are We Ready In Latin America And The Caribbean? They concluded that the region is highly vulnerable to potentially devastating cyber-attacks.

According to the report, four out of every five countries in the region do not have a cybersecurity strategy or plans for protecting critical infrastructure; two out of three countries do not have a command and control centre for cybersecurity; and a large majority of prosecutors lack the capacity to punish cybercrimes.

As a result of these findings the IDB and OAS called on the Latin America and the Caribbean to step up their efforts on cybersecurity. The report noted that over the last several years, Barbados has taken initial steps to strengthen national cybersecurity.

It pointed out that three years ago, Government’s Telecommunications Unit signed an agreement with the International Telecommunications Unit (ITU) to establish a national Computer Security Incident Response Team.

Government was “currently in consultative discussions with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation to develop a commonwealth cyber governance model”.

However, the report said implementation of these measures “however, has been slow, and authorities have cited a lack of funding for cybersecurity and limited interagency cooperation as obstacles towards progress”.

It added that “while the banking sector and some major businesses have adopted stronger cybersecurity measures, authorities believe that many private sector companies and some Government agencies lack adequate structures to defend themselves from cyber threats”.

The report said adopting a national cybersecurity strategy “is arguably one of the most important elements of a country’s commitment to securing the cyber infrastructure, services and ICT business environment upon which its digital future and economic well-being depend”.

To date, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay are the only Latin America and Caribbean countries to have adopted cybersecurity strategies. (SC)

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