US tightening Guyana’s cybersecurity; recommends signing of international convention

Last Updated on Monday, 20 March 2023, 18:26 by Denis Chabrol

Even as the United States’ Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) prepares to teach the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) how to stave off cyber attacks, the American government has recommended that this South American nation signs one of two conventions on cybersecurity, the US Embassy here said Monday.

“In addition to the visit by DOJ (Department of Justice), the U.S. Southern Command and Florida National Guard will send a cyber defense assessment team to Guyana this week, with the goal of sharing best practices with the Guyana Defence Force to protect military networks from cyber-attacks,” the embassy said in a statement.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General the U.S. DOJ, Richard W. Downing, accompanied by Cybersecurity Program Manager from the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism, Organization of America States (OAS), Ms. Kerry-Ann Barrett, said if Guyana could get “additional resources to strengthen domestic capacity for law enforcement responses when combatting cybercrime” if it accedes to either the Budapest Convention or the Convention on Cybercrime

“This crucial step will help Guyana combat cyber threats as it undergoes a major economic transformation,” the American embassy added.

Additionally, the Embassy said the DOJ cyber team, in conjunction with the OAS, offered technical support toward the development of national cyber security frameworks to combat cybercrimes, especially in the security and energy sectors.

The team proposed similar support to CARICOM countries, the diplomatic mission added.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Downing and Ms. Barrett met with Ambassador Elisabeth Harper, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, representatives from the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions, representatives from the Ministry of Legal Affairs and the Attorney General’s chambers, representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Guyana Police Force.