Government outlines cybersecurity plans

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  • Ronnie Viera leading IT team

    Ronnie Viera leading IT team

The best IT professionals on the island will help ensure Bermuda deals with risks associated with the internet, national security minister Wayne Caines told the House of Assembly yesterday.

Mr Caines gave an update on his ministry’s plan to make cybersecurity a national priority and to ensure the island’s digital infrastructure is properly protected.

He said Ronnie Viera, chief operating officer at online payment company First Atlantic Commerce, was leading a Cybersecurity Working Group, but that every corner of society would need to be involved in the process.

The minister told MPs: “The road to cybersecurity preparedness requires a multi-stakeholder approach, and we are not going it alone.

“The Cybersecurity Working Group, which is comprised of private and public sector IT and security professionals, is, as we speak, auditing the cybersecurity preparedness landscape of Bermuda.

“This group has assembled the best IT professionals on island led by Ronnie Viera. The Government is committed to ensuring the working group has all necessary resources to complete its important task.

“In Bermuda, we have developed a vibrant digital society that relies on our critical national infrastructure and commercial business, both local and international, for continued prosperity.

“Our reputation as one of the world’s most sought-after jurisdictions for international business rests on the proven assumption that doing business here is safe and secure.

“Moreover, our national security depends on the uninterrupted functioning of our hospital, banks, and energy grid.

“One lethal cyberattack, however, can change the picture entirely, regardless of whether the target is a provider of a public good or a private company.

“This means that cybersecurity must be addressed collectively by the full range of affected stakeholders, including government, industry, schools, and charities. And that is why the conversations we started this week must continue.”

Mr Caines stressed cybersecurity is not limited to IT or the business world.

He said: “This issue concerns us all. Indeed, every person on this island who has access to and uses the internet has become keenly aware of the risks they face when going online, whether at work, at school or at home.

“Bermuda works very hard to uphold its reputation as a trusted, blue chip jurisdiction. Any risk facing our island, even reputational risk, could prove detrimental to our quality of life.

“One way to be better equipped to face these risks is to educate ourselves and increase our resilience as individuals, because we are the first line of defence when it comes to cybersecurity.

“One person clicking on the wrong link or responding to the wrong e-mail can, and has, shut down not only businesses of all sizes locally and internationally, but also entire government services. Without strong cybersecurity awareness and preparedness, our personal and financial safety, economic prosperity, and national security is at risk.

“It is therefore my view that we — and by ‘we’ I mean those of us in the Government as well as those in the private and third sectors — share a responsibility to ensure that we are well prepared to identify and manage cybersecurity risks, wherever they are and whenever they appear.

“As part of this effort, we need to adopt, and teach our children to adopt, cyber-safe behaviours at home and at school.”

On Wednesday, more than 100 people attended Cybersecurity Framework Workshops at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

• To read Mr Caines’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”

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Published Sep 23, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Sep 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm)

Government outlines cybersecurity plans

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