Cybersecurity as a tool for national development

Mr Roland Kissoon addresses 50 trainees at a cybersecurity certification workshop at the Ministry of Planning and Development’s Global Services Internationalization Hub at the Tamana InTech Park

Cybersecurity is no longer about protecting networks, but about protecting data

Imagine your tax information, personal data from your passport, ID card, driver’s licence and even your credit card being 80% or even 90% secure, and not 100%. These were some of the realities raised by Roland Kissoon, Territory Manager at Check Point Software Technologies, Ltd. at a certification training session with 50 tertiary students, IT professionals, entrepreneurs and business professionals held on May 16, 2018 focused on enhancing the skills of local professionals in cyber security protection for mobile and cloud computing, security threat risk impact and assessment, network security design and general network security architecture among others. This was conducted at the Ministry of Planning and Development’s Global Services Internationalization Hub, Level 1, Flagship Building, 9-15 eTeck Boulevard, Tamana InTech Park.

Mr. Kissoon is Trinbagonian who works internationally and is here to share and impart his knowledge and expertise in cybersecurity. One of the key lessons from the day’s session according to Mr. Kissoon is that “the goal of breaking into organisations’ networks for the sake of breaking them down is no longer en vogue, the goal of hackers now is to steal data”. So in essence, cybersecurity threats no longer focus on breaking down a network, but focus on stealing it.

This workshop is an initiative of the Global Services Promotion Programme (GSPP) through the Ministry of Planning and Development in strategic partnership with Check Point Software. The GSPP is a project aimed at expanding the Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS) sector of Trinidad and Tobago into a leading global brand in all areas related to the digital economy as part of the economic transformation of Trinidad and Tobago. In light of recent electronic threats and breeches to several oraganisations’ networks globally, the field of cybersecurity poses great opportunities for local experts to provide specialized services that can be outsourced universally.

Forbes magazine has estimated that by 2019, the global cybersecurity sector is expected to be worth US $170 billion, and the aim of this Government is to ensure that Trinidad and Tobago is a recipient of the opportunities associated with this sum as part of the National Development Strategy, Vision 2030, which places economic diversification high on the Government’s agenda.

To achieve this goal, the GSPP has conducted a number of similar training sessions with Facebook, Google, IBM and other multinational and local companies. Google earlier in May announced through the Latin America and the Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC) that they have selected Trinidad and Tobago as one of three countries to kick off training initiatives aimed at strengthening digital capabilities in the region.

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