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Jamaica lost US$100m to cyber crimes during 2016

Friday, May 26, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The National Security Council (NSC), in a meeting yesterday, learnt that Jamaica, in 2016, lost approximately US$100 million to cyber-criminal activity.Head of the Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT), Dr Moniphia Hewling revealed the data during her presentation to the NSC while highlighting the need for public education as well as individuals and entities reporting incidents of cyber crime.

Hewling indicated that Jamaica has seen a rise in consumers, businesses and even government agencies being fleeced of hundreds of millions of dollars and emphasized that everyone is at risk. She noted that cyber security issues are not going away, which meant that the need for policies and holding people accountable to good cyber practices must be in place.

Chair of the NSC, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, has decided to raise this issue to the level of Cabinet to ensure that resources are allocated to increase the country's capacity to deal with these threats.

Meanwhile, the NSC meeting was also updated on the progress of a programme of polygraph testing of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), commencing with Area 1. Polygraph examinations and enhanced vetting of JCF personnel in Area 1 and the Marine Division continues with close to 200 personnel being tested. This effort is supported by the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).

The NSC meets monthly and the members are: The minister of finance; minister without portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister; minister of national security; minister of justice; minister of foreign affairs; attorney general; national security advisor; chief of defence staff; commissioner of police and the director general of Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency.


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