With the infrastructural growth of a country, it is likely to be more vulnerable to cyber threats. This troubling dilemma could however be addressed with the acquisition of cyber specialty.
This is according to technological expert, Mr. Ben Tchoubineh, President and Chief Operations Officer of the United States-based PhoenixTS.
Tchoubineh is currently here on an exploratory mission that could not only raise awareness about the importance of cyber security, but also one that sees Guyana learning about tactics to safeguard it-self.
“The more knowledge there is in the country, the better it will be for you,” said Tchoubineh during an interview with this publication.
PhoenixTS, according to Tchoubineh, is an information technology, cyber and management training company for professionals. Moreover, the company has been able to gain an outstanding reputation by offering its training capabilities in several technical subject areas, including cyber security, IT and the latest management mechanisms, to adult professionals, corporations, and the United States Government.
PhoenixTS has long been working in partnership with another US-based technology driven company – CyNtell – both of which are here to lend their expert support.
The support was streamlined by Director of School of the Nations, Dr. Brian O’Toole, who is currently working towards the realisation of a cyber security curriculum for his educational institution.
“It is part of our push into technology. As you know Nations has been established for quite a while in law, business, accounts and other subject areas but about two years ago we moved into technology too,” Dr. O’Toole noted.
To ensure that more Guyanese become suitably qualified for various emerging fields, Dr. O’Toole revealed that deliberate efforts are continually being made to offer up-to-date programmes. It was against this background, he informed, that efforts were made to reach out to experts at the US based organisations to solicit cyber security support.
“I know the huge importance about it [cyber security], and I have been talking to them and they graciously agreed to come down,” said Dr. O’Toole as he revealed that free cyber security awareness sessions will kick off as early as this afternoon at the Nations Barrack Street, Georgetown facility. A move in this direction, he revealed, has already attracted organisations such as the Caricom Secretariat and the Ministry of Telecommunication, among others, as well as individuals.
Even as he stressed the need to direct keen focus to cyber security, Tchoubineh said, “From my perspective, the training perspective, I think that adult professionals at any level, anywhere in the world really need to be cyber aware, no matter what they are doing…whether they are the secretary, whether they are the administrators or whether they are the managers… they all need to be cyber aware.”
Complementing Tchoubineh disclosure was Chief Executive Officer of CyNtell, Mr. Claude Williams. Although primarily focused on cyber security, CyNtell is also involved in IT cloud-base services. The company is one that has been contracted by the Department of Defence in the US and has been working with financial establishments in the US and other institutions that have a need to strengthen their cyber security posture.
“If you think about it, in the US, the two major organisations that are hit with cyber security attacks are first – the government, specifically the Department of Defence; the number one attacked in the world in terms of cyber security and second is the financial services sector,” related Williams, as he emphasised the crucial nature of cyber security. He pointed out that without cyber security, the financial structure of a country’s economy could be undermined. “You can do real damage if you are an enemy of the State,” said Williams as he assured that “What we are looking to do here in Guyana is to see if we can come in and support the government to enhance cyber security.” And this support, according to the CyNtell CEO, could range from helping to shape policies to helping to affect change or understanding when it comes to technology.
Aside from the forum today, interested persons will also be able to benefit from in-depth cyber security sessions on Saturday and Sunday too.
“Anyone who wants to really learn what is this cyber security thing and what is the nuance of cyber security, where it is coming from and where it is going, they would want to come to these sessions,” said Williams.
According to him, “What we will be covering is how the US got to where it is and how we see Guyana growing in the use of its technology in business as well as in personal lives…we will be bringing some of the lessons learnt in the US over to Guyana and hopefully be able to eliminate some of the impediment to being successful in cyber security.”
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