The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology will be allocating a sum of US$6.5million in loans and US$3.5 million in grants to strengthen Jamaica’s cybersecurity framework, through a project jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
An additional sum of J$20 Million has also been included in the budget in order to support the establishment of a malware laboratory and upgrade of the Security Operation Centre to support research at the Jamaica Cyber Incident Response Team (JaCIRT). The funds will be allocated this financial year.
Portfolio Minister Daryl Vaz made the disclosure yesterday (May 10), while making his contributions to the 2023-2024 Sectoral Debate, where he sought to assure the public that cybersecurity is a priority of the Government.
“Cyber-attacks are one of the greatest existential threats of our time. The global outlook sees costs associated with cyber-attacks rising as high as a staggering US$8 trillion. We must do what we can to form a bastion of cyber-support around our nation,” the Minister said.
He also shared that JaCIRT has significantly advanced the acquisition of resources needed for continued improvement of its delivery of cybersecurity and cyber-incident response services to Jamaica.
The budget for JaCIRT will also increase by J$20 million in the financial year 2023-2024.
According to Vaz, the increased allocation is to ensure “coordination of public-private partnerships focused on identification, analysis, and mitigation of risk from cyber and physical threats to internet-facing resources, national critical information infrastructure, and national critical infrastructure.”
Additionally, he said the new budget will ensure management of the response to cyber incidents with national impact, provision of an escalation matrix for the coordination of the efforts of other government-run entities with cyber-incident response capabilities. It will also ensure the operation of a 24x7x365 Security Operations Centre that is the fusion point for all vulnerability and data breaches in Jamaica, and the operation of a national malware analysis lab as part of the national cyber incident response framework.
“As cyber-threat actors step up their game via smartphones, cloud systems, AI platforms, social media, and Internet of Things devices, I urge businesses of all sizes, and the general public to take all necessary
precautions when it comes to securing their devices and information,” said Vaz.