Minister with responsibility for Telecommunications, Senator Darcy Boyce. (FP)

A National Cybersecurity Strategy, aimed at providing robust cyber defence frameworks and systems, is currently being devised for Barbados.

Minister with responsibility for Telecommunications, Senator Darcy Boyce, says the need for such a strategy was now “critical and urgent”, as Barbados faced the challenges posed by cybercrime and the changing nature of cyber threats.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the first ever National Internet Governance Forum for Barbados yesterday, Senator Boyce noted: “We are now dealing with a new form of organised cybercrime aimed at financial gains, with an expansion of the types of threats to various platforms and to various countries.

“Spam has evolved to become a vehicle for delivering more dangerous payloads such as the dissemination of viruses, worms and Trojans that are today a means for online financial fraud, identity or trade-secret theft, as well as various other forms of cyber threats.”

Senator Boyce also highlighted the challenges being posed by drones, stating that while they provided tremendous commercial benefits in areas such as surveying and mapping, security and aerial photography, there was also the potential for infringement of safety and invasion of privacy.

The Telecommunications Minister assured his audience that while some preliminary work had already been done in respect of the proposed National Cybersecurity Strategy, Government intended to involve all stakeholders in the framing of the initiative. Assistance will also be sought from international partners who had done work in this area, he added.

He explained that the new framework will include a revision and revamping of legislation to provide the required security, including work on the Computer Misuse Act, the Electronic Transactions Act, the Telecommunications Act and the Copyright Act. New legislation might also have to be put in place, he stated.

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