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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

Thursday, October 05, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Jamaica will join the international community in observing Cyber Security Awareness Month in October.

The Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology will be hosting and participating in several activities during the month, under the theme 'Protecting the Internet is a shared responsibility'.

, Head of the CIRT, Dr Moniphia Hewling, explained that each week will have a different theme. The theme for the first week is 'Stop. Think. Connect', which is in keeping with the international campaign aimed at sensitising persons to the threat of cybercrimes, and to encourage safe practices while using the Internet.

Other themes for the month are 'Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone's Business'; 'Today's Prediction for Tomorrow's Internet'; 'The Internet Wants You – Consider a Career in Cybersecurity'; and 'Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyberthreats'.

Dr Hewling said that CIRT will be partnering with Wisynco on its 'Social Aware, Share with Care' campaign, which will involve presentations on safe Internet use at 11 primary and secondary schools.

CIRT will also collaborate with the Jamaica Computer Society in the staging of its annual conference from October 19 to 21 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

CIRT will also undertake a social media campaign to promote cyber security and will mark Cyber Security Awareness Day on a date to be confirmed.

In the meantime, Senior Advisor in the ministry, Trevor Forrest, said that as the Government “moves aggressively” to create a knowledge-based society, steps are being taken to ensure the safety of online government systems and services.

These, he said, include conducting regular audits and strengthening legislative measures, citing the tabling of the Data Protection Act in Parliament on October 3.

Additionally, he informed that outside of Cyber Security Awareness Month, CIRT is constantly monitoring and having sensitisation sessions in schools all year round.

He noted that “everybody is affected by cyber security – even using WhatsApp and Twitter on your phone, these are all affected by technology”, and is, therefore, susceptible to cyber-threats. He encouraged persons using online platforms to be careful about what they share and to take precautions to make themselves safe in their online usage.

The month of activities is being undertaken in collaboration with e-Gov Jamaica, Cable and Wireless Jamaica, Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and the Universal Service Fund (USF).