Dominica is reportedly on the forefront of cybersecurity efforts in the Caribbean region and the world, an official from the Organization of American States (OAS), Brain Ditto has revealed.
Ditto, who is currently on island for a National Needs Assessment and Legislative Review Workshop on Cybersecurity at the Fort Young Hotel, made that observation at the opening ceremony on April 28, 2014.
“It’s no longer a question of if you’re going to be attacked by hackers or cybercriminals; it’s really a question of when”.
Ditto explained that the OAS’ presence this week is to help Dominica continue its journey forward to improve its cybersecurity resilience.
Cybercriminals attack governments, entities, financial institutions regardless of size, politics or culture he said.
Ditto added that although ICTs have been a tremendous vehicle for innovation, education, growth, the strengthening of democratic institution and E-governance, the world’s dependence on them has left it vulnerable to exploitation by those seeking to use the power of the internet from various ends.
“I think this week and last week are inflection points of sorts in the journey the government and the country of Dominica are taking to improve their cyber resilience.”
Presently Panama, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago are the only Latin American and Caribbean States that have a cybersecurity strategy.
“In this respect, Dominica really is at the forefront of certain cybersecurity efforts and I’m not just talking about in the Eastern Caribbean… but I’m talking about in the world. There are very few countries that have taken the initiative Dominica has shown in convening this event here and as I said it couldn’t come at a greater time.”
He continued that cybercriminals and hackers have shown that they have no problem working together across political barriers, language barriers and due to this they expertly exploit the gaps that exist in the internet architecture when communication between governments is none existent.
“This has left us extremely vulnerable…. having so many people here from across government gives us a great opportunity to converse, collaborate and get to know what one another is doing”.
According to Ditto, this is precisely what a national cybersecurity system aims to do.
It defines “a global strategic vision for how a country will employ its cybersecurity assets, how it will raise awareness at both the political level and user level, it relays roles and responsibilities in government.”
The OAS will be instrumental in the development of a Cybercrime Strategy for Dominica.
Meanwhile, Zahil Jamil of the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Council of Europe also congratulated Dominica for taking a leadership role in the fight against cybercrime.
Jamil who also represents the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime congratulated Dominica for having taken “a very forward looking step and advanced step to having requested accession to the Council of Europe’s convention on cybercrime”.
“I think that’s a fantastic thing to have done, it’s a leadership role in the Caribbean and all congratulations are due to Dominica.”
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