Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson.
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE government launched the National Cybersecurity Project yesterday that will establish a national computer incident response team.
The project will cost under $400,000 and is scheduled to conclude in September. The government announced last year the execution and commencement of the project in partnership with the International Telecommunications Union.
State Minister for Finance Kwasi Thompson explained yesterday that officials must do all “we can to put mechanisms in place to protect the government’s systems and citizen’s data from exposure to these attacks”.
He added: “The main objective of this project is to assist The Bahamas in assessing our current cybersecurity capabilities, develop a national cybersecurity strategy and establish the national computer incident response team or CIRT to serve as a trusted, central coordination point of contact for cybersecurity, aimed at identifying, defending, responding and managing cyber threats.
“The creation of this national cyber security strategy will include reviewing, revising and implementing cyber legislation for the protection of citizens and clients.”
He highlighted other objectives such as building a knowledge base that supports the country’s development and implementation of a national cybersecurity strategy as well as an approach for the protection of critical information infrastructures.
The project will also support the development of related national cybersecurity platforms, such as national public key infrastructure (PKI), e-government services, national identity, and an access management framework.
He added: “In addition to what we mentioned before and the benefits that we spoke of before, this implementation will open the door for employment opportunities for new careers in cybersecurity and expand the technical skills of many of our people.”
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, director of the Telecommunications Development Bureau, ITU, explained the impact of cyberattacks and cybercrimes.
“In the last year, the COVID health crisis has brought with it an unprecedented surge in online activity sadly accompanied by a corresponding surge in criminality with bad actors taking advantage of the climate of fear, uncertainty...
“We are witnessing a truly disturbing rise in violent and inappropriate online content internet scams... an analysis estimates that material damages of cybercrime alone could exceed staggering $6 trillion this year,” she said.