St Lucia gov’t moving to strengthen cyber-security

The St Lucia government says it is moving to strengthen cyber-security in light of the recent attack on the official web site of the St Vincent and the Grenadines government, Jamaica’s Observer reports.

“This appears to be part of a trend of increasing reports of cyber attacks of various kinds regionally and internationally,” according to a government statement.

It said “as the Government of St Lucia (GOSL) seeks to continually enhance its online presence and make more of its services accessible online to citizens and other users, it is ever mindful of the increasing importance of cyber security”.

It said this is why it has embarked on numerous initiatives and taken several proactive measures to reduce the possibility of successful attacks on government information and technology assets as well as to reduce the negative impact should such incidents occur.

The government said the measures are multi-layered and involve active cooperation among various personnel and collaboration with agencies and authorities at the national, regional and international levels.

“The recent cyber attack in our sister OECS country highlights the need for everyone, at the Government, private sector, civil society and individual levels to be cognizant of the importance of cyber security,” the statement noted.

“From the simplest of measures like strengthening passwords, periodically changing them and not sharing them with others, to not responding to phishing attacks and other internet schemes that seek to cause you to post personal information online, to more detailed ones like regularly using up-to-date antivirus software and periodically conducting security scans of your computers and networks, we can all play our part in minimizing the risk posed by these cyber threats.”

The government said that it would continue to employ all practicable means at its disposal to reduce its vulnerability to cyber attacks and to mitigate the impacts of such attacks should one take place.

On Tuesday, St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that the  email system of his administration was not compromised when the website was hacked on Sunday.

A message on the landing page of the website Sunday evening suggested that it had been hacked by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Islamist rebel group claiming religious, political and military authority over all Muslims worldwide.

The message posted on the website referred to the United States and NATO, saying they are involved in “Organised butchery of Human race since it’s (sic) inception.

“They overthrow governments of sovereign nations and they undermine, threaten, refuse to recognise and seek to destroy democratically elected governments like they are in Syria , Iraq , Gaza, Palestine,” the message said.

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