National cyber risk workshop critical to govt’s security framework – PM Phillips

A one-day National Cyber Risk Assessment Workshop was rolled out on Thursday with the aim of discussing findings and recommendations to be implemented by various public and private organisations to guarantee cyber security.

This is happening at a time when Guyana is experiencing rapid transformation. With Information Communications Technology becoming a critical element in the delivery of services to people, which can result in newer forms of threats such as cyberattacks, the workshop was described as critical.

A cyberattack is any offensive manoeuvre that targets computer information systems, computer networks, infrastructures, personal computer devices or smartphones.

Recognising this as a real issue in the digital age, the Government of Guyana (GoG) in partnership with the United Kingdom Government embarked on a four-month National Cyber Risk Assessment through the National Data Management Authority (NDMA). 

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips, while delivering the feature address at the opening, reiterated the government’s commitment to improving Guyana’s ICT infrastructure while also creating a secure environment.

“The National Cyber Risk Assessment, which is the focus of this workshop is a key part of our government agenda of realising a robust cyber security posture, that will enable the protection of our people, digital assets and digital reputation, improve our cyber resilience and foster a country with good online behaviour,” he stated.

PM Phillips acknowledged that agencies have been implementing cyber security mechanisms and urged them to continue along this path while also being prompt in reporting cyber security issues to the NDMA. He pointed out that the nation looks forward to the public and private sectors to deliver vital services and “as such, your organisations are required to be proactive, efficient and cyber safe in your operations and service delivery.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by Deputy General Manager of the NDMA, Orson Smith.

“The services provided by critical national infrastructure operators significantly contribute to Guyana’s economic stability as well as the wellbeing and security of Guyanese. And as such, it is incumbent on us all to adopt prudent cyber security practices to ensure the sustained delivery of these vital services,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, British High Commissioner to Guyana, Her Excellency Jane Miller pledged the UK government’s continued support and urged organisations to work together, to achieve cyber security.

“None of this work is easy, it takes time and money and the willingness to work together. None of this could be done alone. Remember, this is a team sport,” she said.