By Benjamin Flowers
The Caribbean Cyber Security Center is urging governments throughout the region to give cyber security legislation higher priority to safe guard countries from losing millions of dollars to cyber crimes.
James Bynoe, Chief Executive Officer of CCSC, explained that in countries throughout the region there have been increasing reports of network breaches, website defacements, ATM scams, denial of service attacks, and credit card fraud incidents.
He attributes the level of attack on the region to the “extremely low level of regional cyber security awareness, non-adherence to cyber security best practices and standards,.”
Bynoe added that ironically the telecommunications industry, backed up by governments, seek to expand internet access throughout the Caribbean which without the necessary structures in place translates to more victims for hackers to prey upon.
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Dr. Colin Young, said this week that government is making strides along the same lines as Bynoe’s recommendations to place greater emphasis on cyber security for citizens and businesses.
“What we need to do is create the proper legislative environment,” Young said. “As you know, Belize currently has no legislation dealing with cyber security, so the idea is to get these laws on the books as fast as possible.”
Young explained that a major tool in preparing Belize to deal with the digital age is the completion of the National E-government Policy and Strategic Guide. He added that the first draft of the policy is expected by mid August with a validation workshop involving the relevant stakeholders to take place by the end of September.
He added that the government has shown its commitment to developing Belize’s capability to function in the ever-changing technological climate by establishing the MESTPU.
In July, Belize Telemedia Limited announced that international hackers had compromised the company’s system, overburdening their servers. The result was that customers had trouble accessing BTL’s DSL and DigiCell 4G services, and in some instances they did not have access at all.
The Belize Police Department explained that if the hackers were caught in Belize authorities would need to find a charge under the common law to prosecute the hackers because of the lack of cyber security legislation in Belize.