BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Nov. 5, 2020– It has been a few years in the making, and at 10:00 this morning the Government of Belize National Security Ministry in conjunction with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and with financial and technical assistance from the United Kingdom High Commission in Belize and the Organization of American States (OAS), held a virtual launch of our National Cybersecurity Strategy 2020-2023.
PUC Chairman, John Avery said the process actually started from back in 2018 with a one-
week long National Cybersecurity Symposium which culminated with the launch of a National Cybersecurity Task Force; and this Task Force, with membership and representation from all sectors of society, and assistance from international partners (OAS and UK), has been working ever since on developing the Strategy, which will see the training of some thirty Belizeans to effect its implementation.
Why a National Cybersecurity Strategy? It is no secret that in this new age of instant telecommunication via the internet, it is not all a “bed of roses,” as there are evil forces bent on preying upon the vulnerable. And some of them are quite sophisticated, so that their victims are not only individuals, but government agencies as well. Indeed, sometimes “cyber crimes are committed by organized companies that sell their services to invade your system,” was how one speaker put it. The Strategy therefore entails a “public/private partner approach” to work with schools and other businesses who don’t have their own professionals on staff to aid in their protection.
At the government level, Network Security Officer for CITO, Robert Price said the Task Force “has established and implemented the ISO-27001 Standard, which is the international standard for information security management systems… With these standards we have been able to create a resilient internet infrastructure for the Government of Belize.”
Already, since the activation of the Cybersecurity Task Force in 2018, it has succeeded in “drafting the Cybercrime Bill 2020, conducting stakeholder consultations, and participating in capacity-building initiatives for Criminal Justice personnel and technical staff in the public and private sector,” according to a joint PUC/GOB release today.
The public can view digital copies of the National Cybersecurity Strategy 2020-2023 at the
following Government of Belize web sites: www.mns.gov.bz ; www.bco.gov.bz ; or