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As Barbados continues to digitally transform its public service, Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology (MIST), Davidson Ishmael, has given the assurance that Government is taking the issue of cyber security seriously.

He told the virtual audience attending the recent Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Digital Conference that as the country moved towards becoming a digital society, with more and more services offered to the public going online, his ministry was putting measures in place to protect against cyber attacks.

 “As Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated and indeed more frequent, we must ensure that we move forward in a way that is secure, deters criminal behaviour and which maintains our commitment to individuals’ privacy. In this context, I wish to inform that Government has formally established a Cyber Security Working Group (CSWG) comprised of professionals who are employed across multiple facets of the private sector in the area of cyber security.

“The members of the CSWG freely give of their time and knowledge to provide guidance and recommendations on cyber security policies and strategies. Their work has been invaluable to the work of the ministry and I wish to, once again, publicly acknowledge and thank them for their contributions and service to our nation,” Minister Ishmael explained.

He disclosed that Government was “in the advanced stages” of creating a strategic partnership with one of the leading cyber security companies in the world to strengthen the country’s defence against digital risks.

“The reality is, that we live in a world where every single nation and major corporation is under daily threat from all types of ransomware, hacks, malware, credit card schemes and assorted digital attacks.  Therefore, as a Government, we have an absolute duty to find the best skills and technologies available to protect our nation and our people,” he underscored.

Mr. Ishmael pointed out that Government was “moving full steam ahead” with implementing its first national cyber security strategy and other strategic and legislative instruments that will accompany it.  

He noted that a multi-stakeholder approach was being used to develop the strategy as well as to conceptualise the core cyber security needs of Barbados at the national level.

The Minister said all of these efforts were being combined to produce a robust network that would see strategic alliances and partnerships being forged between government, the public and private sectors, and various development partners to drive the digital transformation effort.

melissa.rollock@barbados.gov.bb

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