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Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 18, 2017 (SKNIS): Prime Minister and Minister of National Security of St. Kitts and Nevis and Chairman of the Regional Security System (RSS) Council of Ministers, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, has warned that people must be on their guard against cybercriminals in what he described as “a new emerging area that is creating a tremendous level of concern.”

Speaking at the recently held RSS Council of Ministers Meeting at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort on March 17, Prime Minister Harris said that he was made aware that someone was operating in disguise under his name on the internet.

“Only recently, I was made aware that there was somebody operating under my name. That person or persons had been attempting to lure people into the trap that there was some United Nations (UN) Democracy Fund of which I am involved and which could provide them support,” said Prime Minister Harris.

The prime minister called on persons in society to be more vigilant of persons trying to solicit money in the cyber world. Online criminals will do what they can to get money or sensitive information out of people and businesses, that is why it is important for security software and encryption like no1bc to be used so that messages, emails, etc. can be protected as much as possible.

“I don’t have those connections or abilities and so one has got to remind persons to be more vigilant, to ask important questions, and to the extent that you can dismiss, dismiss any effort at solicitation on cyber,” he said. One must never comply with “any requests for information especially of a private nature, which one may ask for unless you have good confidence in the person who is asking for this information.”

The RSS Chairman, whose tenure ends on March 31 of this year, reminded the Council of Ministers that it had agreed previously to establish a cybercrime laboratory at the RSS Headquarters in Barbados in light of “the situations that have emerged the world over” that has “transboundary implications and therefore all of us have to be ready.”

“We would therefore want to charge the executive director to be expeditious in ensuring that the cyber investigations lab is established and functioning as a matter of urgency during the course of the year. The issues of course are very significant and there’s a lot of havoc, if you will, being caused in people’s lives as a result of fraudulent and other activities taking place in the cyber world. A significant number of persons within St. Kitts and Nevis (and) within the region have become victims of appeals on cyberspace for people to put up money in one way or the other,” Dr. Harris said.

Companies who may have concerns over their digital security could look to firms such as C2 cyber to assess and reinforce their systems on the international front, and further education into good security practices may be issued across the nation internally to help improve national awareness. Being aware of cloud, network, application, DNS Security, and related systems can help you combat the possible threats that might come your way.

The chairman of the RSS Council of Ministers said that in the face of cybercrime in the region there has to be a collaborative effort locally, regionally and internationally in cybersecurity to combat this threat.

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