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The Caribbean and Cyber Security

The Jamaica Gleaner published an article on March 25, 2012, titled Cybersecurity in the Caribbean. Here’s a quick summary just for you.

Most Caribbean governments and businesses have yet to take the cyber-attack threat seriously. This fact is despite indications that the region is not immune to the motives of those who use the Internet to violate national security, engage in criminal activity, or behave maliciously.

Key points:

  • Lime, the broadband network in Barbados, came under a denial of service attack just a few weeks ago. There are also unconfirmed reports that the systems of the governments of Trinidad and St Maarten were compromised and confidential documents and emails were stolen and leaked.
  • According to Internet World Stats, from a total Caribbean population of 41.4 million, approximately 28.7% of the population now uses the Internet. The countries with the highest population penetration include St Lucia with 88.5%; St Vincent, 73.2%; the Cayman Islands, 72.2%; and Jamaica, 55.1%.
  • These high use rates are similar to the number of cell phones with some estimates showing that mobile phone use in the Caribbean is now reaching 70 % of the population and large quantities for social media use with a parallel growth in applications.
  • Recently, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, highlighted the need to offer more consideration to this issue at the opening the ‘Strengthening Cyber Security in the Americas’ meeting.
  • Unfortunately, while there might be the talk of legal remedies, few Caribbean countries have the requisite laws, regulations, or infrastructure to tackle cybercrimes, making it illegal to breach a network.
  • As ICT Pulse states, the Caribbean has been so focused on ensuring Internet access and enhancing connectivity, that the region has not invested the same amount of effort into developing network and information protection systems.
  • The future economic growth of the region needs not only a modern communications system and high-speed networks, but also the requisite regulation, legislation, enforcement, and policing.



Contributed by: Sabrina Shim from Jamaica. Sabrina is a member of the WISC Discord group from the G5 Cyber Security Foundation Ltd. Learn more about WISC (Women in InfoSec Caribbean) at WISC is a non-profit initiative supporting  Caribbean women and girls to develop a career in Information Security.

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