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Information security critical

Security is a critical component in an effective information and communications infrastructure, whether for public service operations or for private enterprise.

Acting Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development, Senator Darcy Boyce, issued this warning today while addressing the opening ceremony of a conference and exhibition on Information Security Technologies at Hilton Barbados Hotel.

“Secure frameworks that support privacy and safe transmission of data that contain elements of disaster planning, service continuity and the capacity for clientele to remain confident in a business portfolio, are inextricably linked to the marketability and profitability of the business itself,” he said.

Boyce noted that the commercialisation of the Internet and its associated technologies in the 1990s, had caused most organisations to examine and invest in the protection of their information systems. He explained that the on-line environment in which most organisations operated and conducted business today, had made it necessary for special attention to be paid to their information security policies and practices.

Boyce, who is Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said it was now necessary for data which is processed, stored and accessed by the various information systems within organisations to be done so in an environment where globally recognised and accepted standards and practices are utilised.

He explained that information security must aim to protect all types of data and their underlying applications, their networks, equipment and necessary processing facilities.

Boyce further explained that it was important that both the public and private sectors implement and emphasise the need for good security practices and policies.

Noting that people still attempt to hide information that would disclose their identities, Boyce said: “I am sure you will agree with me that when it comes to conducting an electronic transaction we sometimes hesitate to release personal data such as our medical records, financial data and information that will point to our identity.

“Even though the end result of the transaction will redound to our benefit we are still reluctant to act because there is some uncertainty regarding the security of the medium being used.” (NC)

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