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Govt fighting cyber crime


Govt fighting cyber crime

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With 123 000 internet subscribers in Barbados, Government is moving to establish a Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) to assess the readiness and capability of cyber security in the country.

This was revealed yesterday by Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Attorney General, Diane Campbell, as she delivered the feature address during the opening ceremony of a cybercrime workshop for secondary school students under the theme: Know the Signs: Together we can Prevent Cybercrime, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Campbell said that the national Computer Incident Response Team, which aimed to identify, respond and manage cyber threats and enhance cyber security, would complement other strategies already implemented by Government to strengthen the response to cybercrime, such as the Computer Misuse Act.

She also revealed that members of the Royal Barbados Police Force had received technical training to aid in the fight against cybercrime, while policy makers were exposed to best practices in the context of cyber security.

“A number of other initiatives are in train, such as the implementation of internationally-recognised cyber security standards and the use of public awareness programmes to sensitise children to the joys and dangers of cyber space,” the Permanent Secretary added.

However, Campbell stressed that while Government was creating an enabling environment to deal with cybercrime, the public also needed to put measures in place to protect themselves.

She explained that the International Telecommunications Union’s statistics for 2013 showed that 75 per cent of Barbados’ population used the internet, while there were 307 708 cellular phones on the island.

Moreover, she said, the island ranked fourth in the Caribbean in cell phone usage, and was considered “a well-connected island”, therefore making Barbadians highly vulnerable to cybercrime.

This form of crime in Barbados mainly relates to hacking, especially in relation to internet banking, identity theft, malicious communication and incidents of cyber bullying in the schools.

“The public must become familiar with the legislative provisions related to cybercrime as we seek to deter persons from engaging in malicious communication on social media, using it as a device to hurt, libel and defame the characters of persons through transmission of data,” Campbell asserted.

Director of the National Task Force on Crime Prevention (NTFCP), Cheryl Willoughby, urged the students to use the workshop as an opportunity to find out more about what was in the cyber world, and what they as young adults could do to protect themselves.

Hosted by the NTFCP, the workshop is the first of two on cybercrime being held as part of Crime Awareness Month. (PR)