BARBADOS IS NOT READY for a Cyber-Attack and They're Not Alone
BARBADOS IS NOT READY for a cyber attack. Neither are any of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, is the clear warning being given to the Region. The Inter-American Development Bank, Organisation of American States and Oxford University produced The 2016 cyber-security Report entitled, Are We Ready In Latin America
And The Caribbean?
They concluded that the region is highly vulnerable to potentially devastating cyber-attacks. According to the report, four out of every five countries in the region do not have a cyber-security strategy or plans for protecting critical infrastructure; two out of three countries do not have a command and control centre for cyber-security; and a large majority of prosecutors lack the capacity to punish cyber-crimes.
As a result of these findings the IDB and OAS called on the Latin America and the Caribbean to step up their efforts on cyber-security. The report noted that over the last several years, Barbados has taken initial steps to strengthen national cyber-security. It pointed out that three years ago, the Barbados Government’s Telecommunications Unit signed an agreement with the International Telecommunications Unit (ITU) to establish a national Computer Security Incident Response Team.
Caribbean Nations Sign off on Cyber Crime Action Plan
On the heals of the IDB & OAS Report, and following a recent five day regional summit on Cyber-Security in St. Lucia, regional governments have identified the following priority areas in a Cyber-security action plan which include training, legislation, technical capacity and law enforcement.
Caribbean countries have signed off on a plan of action to strengthen regional co-operation and help governments address cyber security vulnerabilities.
The move is an acknowledgement that cyber-attacks are up in the region even as few cases are reported and addressed because of resource shortages and perceived reputational damage.
The plan calls on governments to “foster a culture of security," establish a regional network to gather electronic criminal evidence,
and mount regular exercises known as "cyber drills" to prepare for digital attacks.
BVI Telecoms Minister blasts Telecoms Regulator, and defends CCT
In the BVI, Minister responsible for the telecoms industry Mark Vanterpool yesterday launched a public broadside against the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), warning that the government will not allow the Commission to overlook the locally owned CCT Global Communications in relation to the allocation of the 700 MHz spectrum, which is necessary to facilitate much faster wireless internet through what is commonly known as 4G LTE.
He also indicated that he does not support what he said is the TRC’s plan to appeal a Supreme Court case it lost recently in its ‘spectrum’ battle with CCT.
The telecoms regulator had sought to block CCT from the spectrum awards process after the provider allegedly failed to meet certain requirements. But the court ruled against that position.
Minister Vanterpool went as far as to remind the telecoms regulator that, despite its efforts to block CCT from being awarded a slot on the spectrum, it is the government that owns the spectrum.
“I must remind them publicly here that the spectrum of this territory belongs to the government of this territory and the people. Therefore, we want to make sure that the people of this territory benefit, and therefore our local telecommunications company CCT must not be shut out on simple technicalities.”
PitchIT Caribbean Competition Open
PitchIT, a Canadian-Government funded programme concerned with mobile app development in the Caribbean, will host the region’s biggest tech entrepreneurship competition on June 3-4 in Montego Bay.
Registration for the competition is now open and will close on April 15th. Designed for ‘techprenuers’ in the Caribbean Community (Caricom), the two-day event is expected to feature 25 mobile app start-up teams who will pitch to a panel of judges and an audience of regional and global investors.
Five winners will each be awarded a coveted spot in PitchIT Caribbean business accelerators located in Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as US$5,000 in seed funding to develop their business. Business acceleration includes expert business and technology mentoring, network opportunities, working space and facilities, expense-paid trips to international conferences and competitions, intense product development and investor readiness training.
“At PitchIT Caribbean we are very focused on identifying, engaging and developing top tech talent across Caricom and this competition is one of our major activities toward that objective. So we want all tech entrepreneurs to sign up for a chance to give their start-up a big boost,” explained Keith Whyte, acting project manager, PitchIT Caribbean.
Tech entrepreneurs can sign up for the competition at http://challenge.pitchitcaribbean.com and completing the application form along with a pitch deck and an executive summary of their business or business idea.