A milestone component of the Government’s digital transformation strategy, Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) Assessment sessions were held on March 30-31, 2021. Participants included chief information security officers (CISOs), as well as information technology (IT) leads of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and of the private sector. The goal of this first-ever CIRT assessment exercise was to evaluate the national cyber threat landscape.
CIRTs are responsible for ensuring that security breaches, viruses and potentially catastrophic incidents are responded to quickly and effectively. The CIRT assessment session, led by the Digital Transformation Unit (DTU), is part of the government’s $30 million dollar initiative to digitise public services and improve the ease of doing business in The Bahamas. The objective of this exercise is to establish the first National Cybersecurity Strategy and national CIRT, critical components of the government’s ongoing efforts to reduce the security risks associated with online transactions and digital networks within its agencies.
A cross section of public and private sector IT professionals participated in the CIRT assessment sessions. Government ministries participating in the sessions include: the Department of Transformation and Digitisation (DTaD), The Royal Bahamas Defense Force, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Cybercrime Unit, and the Ministry of Finance. Importantly, the sessions also include Critical National Infrastructure representatives from the oil and gas industries in the energy sector as well as representatives from the health, banking, electricity sectors, and representatives from transport, ports and aviation industries from the transportation sector.
The session’s invitees also included civil society groups, internet governance representatives, professional associations, cybersecurity non-governmental organizations and leaders in higher education.
“As the government continues its efforts to make it easier for citizens to access and pay for government services online, it is increasingly important to ensure that they can safely and securely conduct transactions,” said Permanent Secretary Elise Delancy from the Digital Transformation Unit, which is leading the government’s digital transformation initiatives. “The establishment of the national cybersecurity programme is important to not only provide robust preventative and response measures but also to establish The Bahamas as one of the regional leaders in the digital space.”