With the global uptick in cyber security attacks and technology breaches, Supernova Technologies Ltd is prepared to usher in digital transformation and change cyber security implementation across the region.
The information technology service provider hosted a Cyber Security Roadshow at Brix, The Autograph Collection, Port-of-Spain last week that attracted various technology companies, promoting the theme: Get Cyber Smart.
According to Supernova Technologies’ CEO Nirvan Benimadho, the common goal of the event was for technology companies to showcase their products and services that cater to the fight against the rise in what he describes as ‘digital warfare.’
“We consider ourselves to be a digital aggregator. We supply hardware-software solutions and smart building infrastructure. But the newest suite of services that we have introduced is cybersecurity. And that is because we believe that the Caribbean market is ripe for data protection and digital infrastructure. As you guys are aware there is so much that could be improved,” Benimadho said.
Benimadho possesses a decorated background in both law and business management. But as a new CEO in the technology space, Benimadho is confident that Supernova Technologies will continue being sought after for the “cutting edge software and top tier hardware architecture and support” that they offer.
“There have been many corporations in Trinidad that have been attacked and had cyber scares. And we believe that being proactive is extremely important. That is why we want to put forward solutions. We don’t just want to complain…we want to say this is what can be done,” he said.
Earlier this year, the T&T Cyber Security Incident Response Team noted that there has been a significant increase in malicious cyber activity and ransomware attacks, targeting local organisations and businesses.
“It’s not a question as to whether businesses want to do it. It’s a question of when they’re going to do it. And our recommendation is, why wait until you have a cyber attack,” Benimadho added.
In April, Massy Stores fell victim to a ransomware attack, crippling operations of the local supermarket chain. It was reported that over 700,000 corporate files belonging to the supermarket giant were illegally accessed, ranking the incident by a cybersecurity expert as “the largest Caribbean data breach dump to date.”
Last week Massy Stores’ CEO Roxane de Freitas said, “That obviously was not a good thing for us. We are very disappointed about what happened however we continue to manage through the situation. What we can say is that customer information was not...we don’t keep that so none of that was released or revealed and our systems are back up and running, and we are safe again.”
The government of Costa Rica was overtaken by hackers earlier this year also, that took control of the computer system of the country’s finance ministry demanding US$10 million. Not willing to meet the demands of the hackers, 30 more government agencies were attacked. The Costa Rican government was further crippled a few months later by another cyber-attack.
According to Benimadho, these past incidents are reminders that these types of threats and attacks exist and can occur successfully on a large scale, which is why Supernova Technologies continues ongoing conversations with various local government ministries.
“We believe that as corporate citizens as well, it’s not just the government’s responsibility. Yes, the government is important for legislation and infrastructure, but the private sector also has a responsibility to society at large, to drive change and innovation,” he said.
In attendance at the event were global technology companies and cyber security specialists that have partnered with Supernova Technologies, covering various aspects of the digital and technological space.
In an interview with Guardian Media, Cequence Security regional sales manager, Cortne Pappas made an important call, “don’t trust your emails.”
From working at Cequence Security, he said that many companies contact him to ensure their network infrastructure is up to date. He pointed out that has become very important that people, especially those of the younger demographic, should not trust their Apple and Android devices.
“So as applications grow and the apps grow, there are more opportunities for bad people, threat actors, criminals to compromise those apps and get your personal information and go on the dark web and sell that information,” Pappas said.
According to Eric Anderson, of Symbol Security, 95 per cent of data breaches start with human error or social engineering, which he claims can be significantly reduced through education and awareness training, both in the state and private sector. A ‘well-curated cyber awareness program’ he says, can reduce the risk to the organisation by 60-70 per cent in the first year
“Nine and a half out of ten times, it’s just somebody who is duped by an email or something that looked legitimate and they clicked on the wrong thing and they put their company at risk. With security awareness training and phishing simulation, education is key and keeps people vigilant in what they do every day around understanding potential risks in the organisation,” he said.
Throughout the event, it remained constant that cyber security awareness is not only for corporations or businesses, but should be for anyone that uses any form of technology. IG Technologies CEO, Iris Garcia believes other measures such as having data backup, can lessen the negative impact of a potential cyber security risk occurs.
“It is very important to back up your data, especially because you never know who can hack into it right? Now hackers don’t care, they are going to come after you for $50, $1,000 or even more,” Garcia said.
“If something were to happen, you should always have that backup so you don’t have to go and pay them. Most importantly, when you do that back over the data, please do it outside of your business, right?
“Make sure that you back it up in a data centre or even we recommend even having one on a hard drive. But take that hard drive away from your office.”