September 28, 2020

Securing Caribbean networks

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P1030018By Gerard Best From T&T Guardian

Cybersecurity was top of the agenda as over 80 technology professionals from 15 countries gathered in Curacao for the second day of a major regional technology conference. And one expert the issue of data collection

The meeting is the eighth regional gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG).

Because technology plays such an important role in the region’s development, cybersecurity is a major concern, said Shernon Osepa, the Curacao-born manager of regional affairs for the Internet Society (ISOC) Latin America and the Caribbean.

PHOTO GERARD BEST“A lot of commercial banks in the region are being attacked, but they simply don’t report when these attacks are done. So we know that they are happening but we don’t know to what extent,” Osepa said.

“These attacks are being masterminded by people who are highly educated, technically competent and very knowledgeable about Caribbean security vulnerabilities. This is their full-time job. And it is a global industry.”

Osepa, alongside Albert Daniels, manager of stakeholder engagement for the Caribbean at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), delivered the day’s first presentations, which focused on the need to secure critical infrastructure.

“2013 was the year of the mega-breach,” Daniels said, explaining that the number of security breaches reported internationally hit a high last year, a trend that has continued in 2014.

Mark Korsters, chief technical officer of the American Registry of Internet Numbers, moderatesDaniels said the region’s businesses, governments and citizens needed to better understand the real-world repercussions of unsafe practices in the digital realm.

One important aspect of education, he said, was to develop the practice of reporting confirmed or suspected cases of computer hacking, identity theft and other kinds of Internet-based criminal activity.

“If you live in the Caribbean, don’t think that the hackers are not trying to use our systems to perpetuate their crime. Even in the countries where there are few reports, that simply means that attacks are going unreported.”

Without reporting, decision-makers are unable to make informed decisions to properly address cybersecurity issues, said Elgeline Martis, head of the Caribbean Cyber Emergency Response Team.

“We in the Caribbean are not collecting data, so we cannot support our decision makers in taking the right cyber security measures. We need to start collecting our own data,” she said.

“For example, if we collect data and we see that spam is a big issue, then we are able to tell decision-makers they should invest in solving problems with spam. You always need updated facts and figures to support informed decision-making.”

IMAGE: Shernon Osepa, the Curacao-born manager of regional affairs for the Internet Society (ISOC) Latin America and the Caribbean, is interviewed by Guardian New Media Editor Gerard Best, at CaribNOG 8, , Willemstad, September 30. PHOTO: GERARD BEST

For more on this story go to: http://www.guardian.co.tt/technology/2014-09-30/securing-caribbean-networks

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Partnering for greater good at CaribNOG 8- Caribbean 6

By Gerard Best From T&T Guardian

Dozens of technology professionals from across Latin America and the Caribbean are gathered in Curacao for one of the most highly anticipated gatherings of the region’s technology community.

The opening day of the event attracted over 50 attendees. And more are expected to participate in Day Two, which is dedicated to covering issues related to cyber security in the region.

The week will cover a range of other technology topics including Internet exchange points, cloud computing, mobile broadband and other critical Internet infrastructure.

But many participants are expecting the coffee breaks to be as transactional as the formal sessions, if not more so.

“People who are doing actual work on the networks in our region come here to collaborate and solve real-world problems together,” Lee said. “Caribnog 8, in particular, has several very important side meetings planned, out of which we are anticipating some quite significant outcomes.”

Junior Mc Intyre, Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) project coordinator for the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP), is among those looking forward to the networking that the week offers. For Mc Intyre, the big attraction of this high-profile event was not the sessions but simply the prospect of networking with like-minded technology professionals from across the region.

“We have been working in silos for far too long. A lot of good work is going on right here in the Caribbean but we lack opportunities to share insights with each other,” he said.

CARCIP project coordinators from three OECS countries—Grenada, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines—are also participating in the event.

The weeklong event, which runs from September 29 to October 3, is being held at the Hilton Curacao, Willemstad.

The meeting covers a range of technology topics including cyber security, Internet exchange points, cloud computing, mobile broadband and other critical Internet infrastructure.

More information is available on the official event websites: lacnic.net/web/eventos/caribbean6 and caribnog.org.

For more on this story go to: http://www.guardian.co.tt/technology/2014-09-29/partnering-greater-good-caribnog-8-lacnic-caribbean-6

Experts join heads on Caribbean cybersecurity

By Gerard Best From T&T Guardian

The best way to improve the security of a computer network is to break into it.

So said cybersecurity expert Fernando Gont of SI6 Networks, speaking at the eighth regional gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) now underway in Curacao.

At the meeting, Mark Kosters, chief technical officer with the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) and Carlos Martínez, chief technology officer at LACNIC, took a practical and in-depth look at the nuts and bolts of Internet security.

Martinez said he was “very, very disappointed” with the security industry because their operations were being motivated by the wrong incentives. He compared digital security to national security.

“It works the same way as a private prison. Their best interest is to keep things in a bad state. Their best business comes about by having a bad security situation. What is the financial incentive for them to improve the overall security situation? The best interest of the private prison is to have many prisoners but is that in the best interest of society? No, but the financial incentives of the security industry are wrong.”

Apart from cyber security, the meeting covers a range of technology topics including cloud computing, critical Internet infrastructure and mobile broadband.

For the group the social networking is as important as the computer networking. Between and after highly technical sessions, participants linger in pockets of conversation.

“The CaribNOG meeting is an interesting gathering where competitors in daily business become colleagues with the common interest in defending Caribbean networks,” said Bevil Wooding, one of the CaribNOG founders and an organiser of the weeklong event.

Interactions over meals and side meetings during breaks are a regular and important feature of the conference, which attracts technology professionals representing diverse interests from around the region and across the world.

IMAGE: Mark Korsters, chief technical officer of the American Registry of Internet Numbers, moderates a feedback session on cyber security, as Carlos Martinez, chief technology officer of the regional Internet registry for and the Caribbean (LACNIC), looks on at CaribNOG 8-LACNIC Caribbean 6, Hilton Curacao, Willemstad, September 30. Photo courtesy: LACNIC.

For more on this story go to: https://guardian.co.tt/technology/2014-09-30/experts-join-heads-caribbean-cybersecurity

 

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