Bacchus: Cybercrime still a serious threat | #cybercrime | #infosec


Digital Transformation Minister Hassel Bacchus – Photo by Roger Jacob

DIGITAL Transformation Minister Hassel Bacchus has said cybercrime remains a serious threat to everyone in Trinidad and Tobago.

He was speaking in the budget debate in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

“(The) thing that worries most people today is cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is a serious thing.”

Bacchus reminded MPs, “There have been very high-profile cybersecurity breaches in TT, both in the public and in the private sector.”

In July, the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs was affected by a cybercrime attack, when state attorneys complained they could not access their e-mails or statements made by opposing attorneys.

The Judiciary experienced a similar problem that month.

The operations of digital systems in both of these institutions have since returned to normal.

Bacchus said, “I cannot emphasise enough the importance of ensuring that your ICT devices are digitally cyber-secured.”

He added that all types of businesses have different types of risks

For businesses which deal with large amounts of electronic data, Bacchus said, “Protection of your data is paramount.”

After saying one of his ministry’s objectives is to make government services more accessible to the public through digitisation, Bacchus said all of this “will come to naught if we do not protect them (data and digital systems).”

While the ministry is working assiduously to address the issue of cybersecurity, he continued, public and private-sector companies must also pay attention and put effective cybersecurity measures in place to protect themselves.

Bacchus thanked Finance Minister Colm Imbert for recognising the importance of cybersecurity in the budget.

He urged all companies to “take advantage of what is being provided for you (in the budget for cybersecurity).

In his budget presentation on October 2, Imbert to proposed a cybersecurity investment tax allowance of up to $500,000 for companies which incur expenditure in respect of investments in cybersecurity software and network-security monitoring equipment.

He said, “To qualify for this allowance, the expenditure must be certified by iGovTT.

Imbert added, “This measure is envisioned to incentivise companies to invest in cybersecurity for two years from January 1, 2024-December 31, 2025.”

This measure will require amendments to the Corporation Tax Act.

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National Cyber Security