Jamaica News: As Jamaica joins a number of other countries around the world in observing Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams, is calling on Jamaicans to become more aware of cyberthreats and to take the necessary steps to safeguard their data.
Speaking at the DESCON 2019 Security and Encryption Conference on Wednesday (October 2), at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, the Minister noted that as the world becomes more connected, issues surrounding cyberthreat, data privacy and protection are becoming commonplace.
“As individuals, businesses and Government, we have to raise awareness of the value of protecting our data, and taking the necessary steps to ensure that, as far as possible, we secure our systems,” Mrs. Williams said.
“Additionally, to the business people and Government, our systems and networks need to be equipped with state-of-the-art protection mechanisms to mitigate cyberattack as best as possible,” she added.
The Minister pointed out that persons are living in an age where data is the new gold, an age of new discovery, increased innovation and access.
“An age where borders are virtually non-existent and where we are not just citizens of a country, but also citizens of the Global Village,” she said.
Mrs. Williams said that while the ability to connect and engage with technology for business and other pursuits has become a great enabler for growth and development, it also has its disadvantages in the form of cyberattacks and cyberthreats.
“Cybersecurity experts predict that by 2021, cybercrime will cost the world about $6 trillion a year. Global ransomware damage costs are predicted to hit US$20 billion and businesses will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds, up from every 14 seconds,” she added.
Consequently, the Minister is appealing to business operators to train their employees in cybersecurity.
“Cyber and data security cannot be an afterthought in this new age. With over 90 per cent of hacking beginning with phishing or spear phishing email, training your employees to recognise phishing is critical at all levels,” she emphasised.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Williams said her vision for Jamaica is to create a solid framework that will see the country becoming a digital and knowledge-based society, while reiterating that Government is working assiduously to pass the Data Protection Bill that will ensure that people’s data are secured.
She also commended the organisers of the conference, and credited them for helping to strengthen Jamaica’s response to cyberthreat.
The two-day conference will provide participants across a broad range of disciplines the opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field and discuss effective, innovative and emerging data security strategies and best practices.
Source: JIS News