THE government has announced the execution and commencement of an “historic” National Cyber Security Project in partnership with the International Telecommunications Union.
The ITU is the information and communication technology (ICT) arm of the United Nations. The project will provide technical support to The Bahamas through the assessment of the country’s current cybersecurity capabilities and the development of a national cybersecurity strategy.
The partnership will also assist the government with the establishment of a National Computer Incident Response Team (BSCIRT) which will serve as a single trusted, central coordination point of contact for cybersecurity.
BS-CIRT’s priorities will include identifying, defending, managing and responding to cyber threats. Currently, the fight against cyber-crime is limited to the resources available in the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson, who has responsibility for the Digital Transformation Unit, says it is critical that The Bahamas places a greater focus on cyber-security.
“The government of The Bahamas is engaged in the digitisation of more than 200 government services over the next five years. Since the passage of Hurricane Dorian and in our current reality of providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic, government agencies and the private sector entities are conducting more business transactions over the Internet. It is therefore important to minimise the risks associated with operating business online,” Mr Thompson said.
“The implementation of this National Cybersecurity Project is critical to the country’s national digitisation programme. Once implemented, the National CIRT will help identify, protect, and defend against cyber-attacks. The project is very comprehensive and includes building a national strategy, updating our cyber laws, increasing and training of staff, and national education on cyber security. This will be one of the most significant steps we have taken to defend our country from cyber-attacks.”
Once established, the Cybersecurity Emergency Response Team will protect, detect, respond and recover, and assist The Bahamas in identifying and protecting the country’s critical ICT infrastructure and data. The National CIRT also will be ready to respond to attacks targeting the national critical information infrastructure and will also act as an advisor to the government on all cybersecurity matters.