Cyber Security threats to the Caribbean

The Jamaica Gleaner published an article on June 18, 2020, authored by David Jessop, titled New Threats to Caribbean Cyber Security.

Cyber Security incidents continue to rise. According to PwC’s Global State of Information Security Survey 2015, attacks rose internationally by 48 per cent in 2014, resulting in huge remedial and reputational costs to the companies and governments concerned.

Key points:

  • The Caribbean remains woefully unprepared with governments and parts of the private sector declining to take cybercrime seriously until subject to an attack. Recent attacks on the government websites of St Vincent & the Grenadines and The Bahamas has proven this fact.
  • These attacks, while seemingly matters of little consequence, experts suggest, to have compromised government’s internal communications. They have demonstrated the potential vulnerability many, if not most Caribbean states, have to a cyber-attack on critical infrastructure.
  • The absence of local expertise or financial resource to address weaknesses is leading to foreign dependence for necessary technical support and advice to remedy problems.
  • There are reports of attacks on Jamaican government sites in 2014, in many OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) nations in 2012, and on sensitive government servers in Trinidad and the Dominican Republic, as well as on many significant Caribbean companies.
  • In its 2015 report, the OAS notes that almost all countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region now recognize that attacks targeting critical infrastructures represent a clear danger, are increasing in frequency, and their sophistication is dramatically evolving. Some countries have begun equipping themselves against cybercrimes by drafting relevant laws, employing cybersecurity teams and strategies.
  • Recent developments also demonstrate that there has to be closer public sector-private sector cooperation of a kind not usual in much of the Caribbean, to develop systems and secure forms of information exchange as cybersecurity touches both the viability of nations and individual enterprises.
  • Though it remains far from clear whether regional law-enforcement agencies have the legal cover to cooperate with external government agencies in this area, given that most cybercrimes are extraterritorial. Nevertheless, some countries have seen the need and began to prepare tough the concern is the pace at which Caribbean countries are realizing that cybercrime has become a war which they are not yet prepared to fight.



Contributed by: Kyle Sterling from Jamaica. Kyle is a member of the CCST Discord group from the G5 Cyber Security Foundation Ltd. Learn more about CCST (Caribbean Cyber Support Team) by visiting CCST is a collaborative group on the Discord platform for Caribbean people in IT, from beginners to experts.

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