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National cybersecurity strategy launches

Bermuda will today launch its new cybersecurity strategy, with a series of “lunch and learn” sessions scheduled throughout October.

Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, said information technology has become critical for the island, and the Government has worked with local and international partiers to develop a strategy to address digital threats.

Mr Caines said: “Some criminals seek to use our information and our systems against us for their own economic gain.

“They trade in stolen personal information and they deploy ransomware in attempts to extort money from individuals and businesses.

“Nation states engage in cyber espionage for political and economic gain, hacktivists deface websites, disrupt operations and expose sensitive, confidential information to the world.”

He added: “For Bermuda to thrive socially and economically, we must ensure that we are adequately protected from cyber threats.”

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisations was commissioned to help develop the strategy, and visited the island twice in 2018 to meet with stakeholders to develop a custom-built strategy.

A draft strategy was published online after public consultation last year to further develop the strategy, which will provide a framework for Government as it moves forward.

Mr Caines said: “This will enable the diversification of the island's economy and enhance the island's prosperity and safety.

“It takes a proactive approach and is focused on maintaining a safe cyberspace for anyone in Bermuda who has an online presence.

“It is driven by the Cybersecurity Governance Board, which is comprised of a volunteer body of local ISP leaders.”

Marisa Stones, director of Government's ICT policy and innovation department, said Government will host a series of “lunch and learn” sessions to help educate the public about cybersecurity.

The sessions include:

• October 3: Cybersecurity — Where is Bermuda in all of this?

• October 4: Cybersecurity incident response teams, threat management, and the indispensable role they play.

• October 7: Awareness and education: how to harness their power to enhance the Island's cybersecurity preparedness.

• October 11: Malware — a session for members of the Public Service.

• October 20: How is the Government Training its staff?

• October 28: What does the legislation say?

• October 31: Cybersecurity in Bermuda: a look towards the future.

The sessions will be held from 12.30pm to 1.30pm at the Public Works training room on the third floor of the General Post Office.

A senior-specific session will also be held on October 18 at St Paul's AME Centennial Hall between 10am and 2pm.

Those interested in taking part in any of the sessions will have to RSVP by e-mailing ictpolicy@gov.bm.

David Burt, the Premier, said: “The internet is an integral part of our daily lives and there are few activities that do not involve accessing information, goods or services online.

“As a country, despite our size, we are a significant part of the global economy and the internet has become and increasingly important tool for how we seamlessly, without conscious thought, conduct business, forge personal and professional relationships, participate in social activism and learn about and develop unique interests.”

But the Premier added that the benefits of the internet also bring risks — and noted that con artists had even pretended to be him online to lure unsuspecting targets to send them money.

He said: “Unfortunately there have been some victims who have fallen prey to crimes and has sent money to someone pretending to be myself, but in fact was someone overseas.

“Our vision for cybersecurity in Bermuda is secure, resilient and trustworthy internet which fosters and informs an inclusive society in Bermuda.”

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published September 30, 2019 at 2:33 pm (Updated September 30, 2019 at 2:33 pm)

National cybersecurity strategy launches

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