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PRESS RELEASE – Boka Group has hailed thenewly announced Commonwealth and Caribbean states joint action plan to tackle escalating cybercrime, following a three-day workshop in Saint Lucia organised by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union and the Caribbean Community Implementation Agency for Crime and Security and was attended by ministers, attorneys-general, ICT and telecommunications officials and international experts, Interpol, FBI and the Council of Europe.
Boka CEO, John Kennedy said “Unlike many high-level conferences, this is one deals directly with an issue already seriously affecting Saint Lucian corporations, employers and ordinary citizens today. It is a unique type of crime, the assailant is invisible, the effects are often devastating and the victims are left confused and helpless. Cybercrime is on the increase and is becoming more and more sophisticated. Businesses and individuals in Saint Lucia are being targeted and criminals are often unfettered in their enterprise, this coordinated fight back is a welcome move”.
This country-led process is part of a new initiative to upgrade laws and provide training for legislation, technical capacity and law enforcement.
Boka Group CEO, John Kennedy added “many major corporations in the region have already faced cyber-attack – which only some are equipped to deal with or report. Only last month Boka Group thwarted a sophisticated attempt to access its own bank accounts and to transfer substantial sums.
The crime was foiled due to our sophisticated counter-measures systems already in place, but it was well planned and could have succeed were we not already prepared. That attempt originated in the Caribbean and was structured through a network of international organisations and bank accounts, ending in the Republic of Ireland. It is a wakeup call and Saint Lucian companies will welcome support in helping them prepare against such criminal enterprise.”
The new Caribbean States joint Commonwealth Action Plan calls on governments to “foster a culture of security”, to establish a regional network to gather electronic criminal evidence and to mount regular exercises known as ‘cyber drills’ to prepare for digital attacks. These attacks are not just against individuals and corporations, but against government systems and networks as well. Companies and individuals should also address their own vulnerability before they are exposed to attack.
Steven Malby, Legal Adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat said “The uniqueness of this plan derives from its collaborative, country-led, process. Together, Commonwealth Caribbean countries have identified their needs and presented them to the international community. The Commonwealth Secretariat and its partners have stepped up to the plate with technical support and assistance. Working together in this way leads to a safer and more secure cyberspace for all.”
Recommendations are based on the findings of needs assessments carried out in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados. The studies found that cyberattacks are on the up in the region but few cases are reported and dealt with because of resource shortages and perceived reputational damage.
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