(JIS) – Information Communication Technology: The Government is emphasising the need for users of information and communications technology (ICT) tools to exercise caution in order to reduce cybersecurity risks.
Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said the Administration recognises that for Jamaica to remain globally competitive, “we have to incorporate ICT. But we are also mindful of the fact that as we incorporate technology in our everyday lives, we are exposing ourselves to cyber risks”.
“It’s not that we believe that because of our… exposure, we should be deterred (from using ICT)… (but) we have to ensure that we protect ourselves,” he pointed out.
Dr. Wheatley was speaking at a national cyber-awareness activity day forum held at the Police Officers’ Club in St. Andrew on Wednesday, October 25.
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The Minister said in recognition of the role of ICT in national development, the Government has embarked on several initiatives aimed at facilitating access for more persons and entities, in keeping with the focus on building out a digital society.
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He noted that while the Administration continues to institute the requisite legislative framework to fight cybercrime, “it starts with us, as citizens who are using the technology, to be aware”.
“Even though we have done quite a bit in terms of routine audits of government websites, we have to ensure that within the public sector, and, by extension, the private sector, we take this matter of cybersecurity seriously,” he said.
“We believe that Government must invest in cybersecurity, as we must utilise technology, but if we endeavour to ‘stop (and) think before you click’… that will significantly minimise our level of exposure,” he added.
Dr. Wheatley praised the Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team (JA-CIRT), which falls under the Ministry; the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF); and other stakeholders for helping to enhance Jamaica’s cybersecurity framework.
He noted that this collaboration is resulting in heightened awareness, particularly in schools, adding that “we are pleased to note that our children are very aware”.
Wednesday’s event was part of activities organised by CIRT in observation of global Cyber Security Awareness Month during October.