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BTP hosts successful cyber security seminar

Published on: Dec 05, 2023
Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP) concluded a highly successful Cyber Security Seminar last week, emphasizing the crucial need to protect critical infrastructure in St. Maarten. The seminar featured a keynote address delivered by the Caribbean Cyber Security Center from Barbados, shedding light on recent cyber-attacks in the region, prevalent threats targeting critical infrastructure, and the importance of safeguarding these vital systems.
Mrs. Judianne Hoeve, Interim Director of BTP, expressed profound concerns regarding recent cyber developments and underscored the urgency of collaborative efforts in combatting this issue. "We must recognize that our economy faces significant risks when our critical infrastructures are vulnerable to malicious attacks," she emphasized. These critical systems encompass vital sectors including water supply, energy grids, telecommunication networks, healthcare services, financial institutions, and emergency services.

An integral part of the seminar was the invaluable contribution of VWO 6 students from the Milton Peter College (MPC). In collaboration with BTP, the students conducted a comprehensive cyber security survey and presented their findings. Moreover, they showcased a demonstration of "ethical hacking" during the seminar, illustrating the ease with which networks can sometimes be compromised.

The event served as the launch of an island-wide Cyber Security Awareness Campaign. Mrs. Judianne Hoeve expressed admiration for the students' contributions and expressed optimism in their potential return to St. Maarten after pursuing further studies abroad. She assured that BTP is committed to creating pivotal roles for returning students, recognizing and rewarding their dedication to safeguarding St. Maarten's cyber landscape.

The seminar attracted a diverse audience, including representatives from government IT, the telecommunications sector, utilities provider GEBE, banking institutions, law enforcement, fire department, disaster management, and the Ministry of TEATT.

The resounding success of the seminar reflects the shared commitment among stakeholders to fortify St. Maarten's cyber resilience. BTP remains dedicated to fostering a cyber-secure environment and looks forward to continued collaboration to strengthen the island's cyber defenses.