Wednesday 25 November, 2020

Government launches Cyber Security Public Education Campaign

The Cayman Islands Government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure (CPI), joined the rest of the international community in observing Cyber Security Awareness Month in October.

As part of its activities, the Office of Cyber and Information Security in the Ministry of CPI is launching its first cyber security public education campaign under the theme, “Better Cyber Safe than Sorry”, to create awareness and educate various target groups about the importance of cyber security. The target groups include children and adolescents, parents, older persons and small businesses.

The campaign focuses on good online practices and strategies to prevent cybercrimes such as phishing email scams, social media impersonation, bank fraud, cyber bullying and online exploitation.

The Government through a new microsite, www.gov.ky/cybersafe, is also providing tools and resources needed to support the target groups as well as other stakeholders to stay safe online and to increase their resilience in the event of cyber incidents.

Minister of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure Hon. Joey Hew, stated that the public education campaign is a very timely one as cybercrimes have been on the rise globally given that most aspects of our lives have moved online due to the pandemic. He further said that the Cayman Islands Government has adopted a strategic approach to cyber and information security for the protection and safeguarding of data and critical assets.

“Government has prioritised cybersecurity issues and will continue to invest in effective security measures so that Caymanians and those who operate businesses within the jurisdiction can have confidence in us. To meet the cyber challenges, we established the Office of Cyber and Information Security in 2019 under my Ministry as the competent authority to provide advice and guidance to our agencies, departments and the Government as a whole,” Minister Hew said.

Minister Hew continued, “We have made much progress in implementing Government’s best cybersecurity toolset capabilities. We also have an Information Security Framework which is based on industry best practices and international standards. Our Government will continue to reach out to industry groups to strengthen our collaboration and information sharing on cyber matters but want to encourage the private sector to reciprocate so that we can work together and share best practices”.

Chief Information Security Officer in the Ministry of CPI, Pamela Greene stated that globally there continues to be a rising tide of cyber-attacks, to which the Cayman Islands is not immune. “It is important that Government leads on this important issue. My office has collaborated widely, to design this public cyber education campaign to be informative, engaging and provide useful advice to the people and businesses across the Cayman Islands,” she said.

Commenting on the campaign, Commissioner of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Derek Byrne, said, “The RCIPS remains vigilant in our commitment to making the Cayman Islands safer in all aspects. Due to the impact of COVID-19, we have seen an increase in cybercrimes here in the Cayman Islands, which are currently under investigation by our Digital Forensic Hub and Financial Crimes Investigations Unit.

He continued, “Crime Prevention is a key component to our policing strategy. As such the RCIPS is pleased to partner with the Ministry and other agencies of Government on the cyber security public education campaign. This campaign will create further education and awareness on common cybercrimes, so that the people and businesses we serve are better able to protect themselves from becoming victims”.

Director of Department of Children and Family Services Paulina Mendoza-Williams has welcomed the public education campaign which will have a special focus on children and adolescents.  She stated, “Over the past few months, our children and young adults have been spending more time online and have become more vulnerable to a range of online exploitations, such as bullying, grooming, gamification and the sharing of inappropriate images of themselves and others. This cyber security public education campaign will educate them and their parents so they can have the necessary knowledge and confidence for when they enter the real world.

“Unfortunately, our children and adolescents are getting exposed to the harsh reality of this world a lot sooner than we would like. While access to the cyber world places vast treasures of knowledge at their fingertips, it also exposes them and makes them vulnerable to dangers that lurk behind anonymous online identities. The Department of Children and Family Services sees this partnership as very critical so we can work together to protect our children and give them and their families the necessary support to safely navigate the online world”, she emphasised.

The kick start cyber security public education campaign will extend to the end on this year with the implementation of a wider strategic campaign in 2021.

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