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NTRC holds workshop “Get safe online”, aimed at keeping businesses safe

NTRC holds workshop “Get safe online”, aimed at keeping businesses safe
Left to Right: DIRECTOR OF the NTRC Apollo Knights , CEO OF THE MEDICINAL Cannabis Authority (MCA) Dr Jerrol Thompson & CHAIRMAN ISOC SVG Programme Committee Kerry Kerr

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A REPORT by ‘RiskIQ’, an Internet security company, says that in 2018, cyber-criminals cost the global economy $2.9 million every minute, a total of $1.5 trillion.

Another online cybercrime monitoring entity ‘Hashed Out’, says that cybercrime damages will cost businesses and organizations $6 trillion annually by 2021.

This number, which is up from a 2015 estimate of $3 trillion, represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks incentives for innovation and investment, and will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined.

And it was with this in mind that the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) held a recent two-day workshop dubbed “Get safe online”, aimed at keeping citizens, organizations and businesses safe.

Addressing the opening of the workshop, Director of the NTRC Apollo Knights said while there is direct cost that can be measured when it comes to cybercrime, there are some things that are not easily measured in dollars and cents.

“For example, the hassle and inconvenience of having to change debit and credit cards after they have been compromised. These are issues I am sure many in the room this morning can relate to,” Knights commented.

He added that over the last three years, he has had to change two credit and two debit cards issued by commercial banks operating in SVG after they were compromised.

“And compromised is the nice word for them being used by someone other than myself to make orders online. In some cases, I had to wait months to get my funds back from the banks,” Knights said.

The workshop, he said, shows the priority the NTRC has placed on protecting persons online while explaining that it is the second phase in the initiative as last year they launched a website called “getsafeonline.vc” which has had over 3000 visitors to the site per month since October 2019.

The website is funded through the UK Commonwealth Cyber Security Programme, working in partnership with the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

Knights said that so far, the government has passed a number of critical pieces of legislation to protect persons and the NTRC has been doing its part with presentations to local schools both primary and secondary.

He said the NTRC has also developed an associate degree programme in Cyber Security in collaboration with the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) which has been in place for the last four years, and discussions with officials from CISCO with a view to setting up a CISCO academy here have recently been completed.

The workshop took the form of an introduction to the methods that criminals use to commit crimes online and strategies which can be used by Internet users in order tolessen the risk.

The sessions included video and audio clips demonstrating the types of scam which are currently being used.

The session was also an opportunity to bring persons up to date with regard to the dangers children and young people face whilst using technology and how they are being targeted in that environment.

The workshop was facilitated by online security specialists Liz Stanton and Paul Bayer from the United Kingdom (UK) and was a joint effort between the UK government, the government of SVG, the Internet Society of SVG (ISOC SVG), the NTRC and the National Insurance Services (NIS).

Held at the NIS conference room, the workshop also heard from Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Medicinal Cannabis Authority (MCA) Dr Jerrol Thompson and Chairman ISOC SVG Programme Committee Kerry Kerr.

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