Companies told to learn from cyber-attacks
BARBADIAN AND OTHER CARIBBEAN businesses, especially those in the financial services sector, need to pay attention to the cyber-attacks which have affected their European and American counterparts.
This suggestion comes from Juniper Networks’ principal security architect for the Americas Barny Sanchez, who was among a number of information security experts in Barbados last week for a workshop and exhibition hosted by the Central Bank of Barbados and the Barbados chapter of the Information Systems Security Association.
Speaking to BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY on the sidelines of the event, he recommended that even small businesses should leverage lessons learned from all of the major incidents that have happened to “major companies”.
Sanchez said Caribbean businesses should examine the recent targeted attacks by “hacktivist” groups on the biggest banking institutions in the United States to see “what worked and what didn’t work” in these incidents.
He stressed that small businesses should not believe that they were under the radar of cyber criminals.
“In today’s environment you don’t even have to be a business to be at risk. You could be accessing your bank account from your house within your personal bank account and you can be at risk so if a small business thinks that they’re not at risk that is a huge mistake,” he said.
Meanwhile, information security consultant at Mission Critical Systems Doug Woodward said the Caribbean needed to strengthen its laws surrounding information security.
“One of the biggest things the Caribbean needs is stronger legislation around providing compliance regulations to help the businesses, and specifically the financial businesses, to conform to more global standards.
“A security response team in parallel with a disaster recovery strategy would be paramount to protecting your data, protecting your company’s resources and keeping the trust of your customer,” he said.
Sales manager for the TSL Group Jake Corbin added that a firewall and an up-to-date antivirus programme were no longer enough to protect against threats.
“You need to protect all layers of your network and all places where information is stored,” he added.
The information experts stressed that it was important for businesses to have up to date computer operating systems since many of the attacks on financial institutions were made possible due to “old operating systems, unpatched operating systems or vulnerable operating systems”. (NB)