Digital Transformation Minister assembles team to deal with cyber complaints

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Digital Transformation Minister assembles team to deal with cyber complaints

The population is being urged to take the issue of cybersecurity seriously.

Minister of Digital Transformation Hassel Bacchus, in GML interview, said cyber attacks are not an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) issue but rather about corporate risks.

He believes the solution to combating the increase in cyber attacks is sensitising people on proper security measures.

In recent months, TSTT, PriceSmart and Courts have all been attacked by a ransomware group.

Bacchus said his ministry has been working to educate several sectors of society about protecting data.

He told the media house: “Cybersecurity at all levels must be taken seriously and, if not, will have a devastating impact on your and our business. Please be cyber aware and note that there are international and local organisations that can attend to the comprehensive range of services required… This has nothing to do with building sophisticated tools… Those things come later.

“They need access into your networks. We want passwords that’s simple to use. You do change it to something, then change it back to what it was. That part of it is where we (Ministry of Digital Transformation) come in, helping people to understand where we are. Educating the older population as to where we are, working with civil society to understand where we are, encouraging the private sector to understand that their businesses are under threat and therefore they need to do something.”

He added, “As far as the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is concerned, what are we doing? We’re evaluating all of the Government services across every ministry, division and agency, everyone, looking at what it is they do and what is their security posture. We’re comparing that against the industry standard which they must and should adhere (to). We’re looking at that then based on that, we’ll create a gap analysis and then we will also build a roadmap as to how we will get to be compliant with that. You know what is the problem with that? The goalpost moves every week.”

He said the ministry had assembled a team to deal with complaints from the public.

“We’ve created a reactive force that says if anything happens to you, call these people. They will deal with that… We’re dealing with it from an educational perspective, we’re dealing with it from a sensitisation perspective, we’re dealing with it from a government perspective in terms of incentives for people to do what is required even if they don’t want to. There are educational programmes involved in there. There are a number of measures that have been put in place, not just from this budget but from the ones before,” Bacchus said.

The minister also said the Government is working on legislation that will make things more difficult for hackers to infiltrate cybersecurity spaces.