By Gerard Best
KINGSTOWN — Rising cyber crime is stoking growing concern among legislators, law enforcement officials, business leaders and millions of affected citizens across the Caribbean.
In response, several Caribbean nations are taking concrete steps to finalise cyber crime legislation, train law enforcement agencies and raise awareness among their vulnerable populations. The latest is St Vincent and the Grenadines. The country will host a cyber security symposium on December 7 and 8.
“We are quite pleased with the level of interest being shown in response to the issue of cyber security,” said Roxanne John, the local coordinator for the event. “A number of computer network operators, information technology professionals, researchers and students are expected to attend.”
The newly formed local chapter of the Internet Society is staging the meeting, in collaboration with the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG). ARIN is one of five registries worldwide coordinating Internet number resources.
“Cyber crime and cyber safety are issues that affect every segment of society. Detecting and responding to cyber incidents must also involve all sectors. That’s why the collaborative approach being taken by the Internet Society in St Vincent is the most effective way to address issues related to cyber security,” said Bevil Wooding, Caribbean Outreach Liaison of ARIN and one of the founders of CaribNOG.
CaribNOG is a volunteer-based community of computer network operators and cyber security experts. They were the organisers of Belize’s first-ever national cybersecurity symposium, which took place in Belize City from April 24 to 28.
“We are pleased to see that countries across the Caribbean continue to demonstrate great interest in reducing the regional incidence of cyber-crime. We also recognise that much more must be done to protect our network infrastructure and safeguard our digital assets,” said Stephen Lee, Program Director of CaribNOG.
Participants are expected to come to Kingstown from across the Eastern Caribbean, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, and St Kitts and Nevis.