PR – Fellow Grenadians, for the first time, the Ministry of Information Communication, Technology has dedicated November, as Cyber Awareness Month in Grenada. The month will be celebrated under the theme: See Yourself in Cyber. This theme seeks to heighten the focus and awareness that every organization and individual who engages on the internet, has a role to play in keeping themselves and the larger ecosystem safe.
The theme is driven by the fact that as we go about our daily lives, using online platforms to engage in education, ecommerce, business and for social or recreational purposes, there are hackers and phishers who are rigorously attempting to attack, to break into systems, steal information or blackmail people and organizations, often leaving trauma and financial ruin behind.
During the pandemic, the number and severity of cyber-attacks have escalated and even right here in Grenada, our cyber security team, CSIRT GND, has logged several locally made scams.
Hence the need for us to recognize that we all have a role to play in our own cyber security, as we seek to safely and respectfully navigate the cyber landscape.
During the month, we will focus on four main areas: Using Strong Passwords, Enabling Multi Factor Authentication, Updating Software, and Recognizing and Reporting phishing.
Strong Passwords are like strong locks. Multifactor Authentication is like double locks and deadbolts. Updating Software – is similar to putting on some additional safety features like alarm systems or burglar bars and Recognizing and Reporting Phishing is the same as ensuring that the only people or things who enter your safe home, are those who you trust to bring into the sanctity of that space.
Basic knowledge and understanding of these four areas will ensure that every citizen, from the youngest user to the oldest among us, is able to engage in cyber space, with some level of confidence and diligently take responsibility for their actions online.
Throughout the month, my Ministry will undertake several activities across the country as we engage stakeholders to raise the bar of awareness and engender a response among Grenadians. Among the activities organized will be cyber awareness radio quizzes, a panel discussion which will be held in conjunction with the FIU and the Cyber Forensic Unit of the RGPF, A Beyond the Headlines Television Program and a series of Primary and Secondary schools’ cyber security outreach programs.
Grenadians, we are all aware of the amazing advantages which the internet affords, but we must recognize that there are inherent traps and pitfalls which await us. We are safe in Cyber only if we make the right choices. Therefore, parents, guardians, and teachers, must ensure that children are safe and are taught how to safely “See Themselves in Cyber.” Adults and senior citizens; you must take responsibility to safely, “See yourselves in Cyber.”
I would like to recognize our very own Grenada Cyber Security Incidence Response Team or CSIRT GND. The Team was launched in May 2022 for the purpose of detecting, containing and responding to cyber incidents. Thus far, the CSIRT has empowered many Grenadians to be safer citizens or users of the Internet. Additionally, many Grenadians have been prevented from falling victim to internet scams and losing their money in the process. To date, over eighty thousand dollars have been kept out of the pockets of scammers; money belonging to hard working Grenadians who reached out to CSIRT before clicking the link or sending off the cash.
I encourage all Grenadians to use the services offered by our national CSIRT. If you are unsure of an electronic transaction, if you want to verify the authenticity of a message, or you want a website checked out among other things, please contact the CSIRT via WhatsApp calls on 423- 2478 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Team is also on Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube with the handle @csirtgnd. The Team will conduct the necessary background checks and provide you with timely feedback. The service is free and confidential. “The ball is in your court”.
In closing, please remember fellow Grenadians – there is no herd immunity in Cyber Security; your safety and security are your responsibility. You MUST see yourself in cyber.
I thank you.