FOLLOWING a series of hacked web sites and data leaks in previous months, government institutions and offices were urged to take stronger actions against cyber threats.
Ben Johnson, cofounder of cyber-security system provider Carbon Black, said government offices around the world are not updated with the latest advances in endpoint security.
“One challenge in the government is their slower refresh cycle in terms of their IT [information-technology] system, technology and their people. Usually, when you are installing new technology that gives you new opportunity to put more security in place, especially with how rapid the advance of cybercrime and espionage is becoming. Governments are put in a tough spot. Let us be honest, they are not as agile as they need to be in today’s world,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who has had experience working in the United States intelligence department, said the “lowest bidder” approach in security should be avoided and that partnerships with the private sector in acquiring knowledge in the latest in cyber defenses should be maximized.
“But I think all government are waking up to the fact that, as an organization, you are always a target. So you do not have time off. For the most part, private industries have surpassed government agencies in terms of cyber defenses,” he said.
According to Johnson, with President Duterte mentioning in his first State of the Nation Address plans to upgrade cyber infrastructure that would allow faster Internet speeds and free Wi-Fi access in public areas, as well as the computerization of all government services, there is the need for a more effective cyber security that would protect the privacy of citizens, as well as data from both public and private institutions.
“When you start offering public access, you have to be careful that attacks can be launched from there because if you are anonymous, if you have this free Wi-Fi, if there is no attribution, then there is no fear of retribution of getting caught,” Johnson said,
He added: “My concern is really how anonymous people could use it for malicious purposes and if everyone is using the same broadband or the same system, you have to focus your efforts there because now you have a huge population as target by just compromising this one system.”
As part of Carbon Black’s launch in the Philippines, the company is partnering with local systems integration company Micro-D International Inc. (MDI).
According to MDI Managing Director Peter Paul Laud, systems protection that rely merely on endpoint defense, like anti-virus installation, is becoming ineffective.
Laud added that small and medium enterprises will be able to leverage on Carbon Black solutions, as they provide customers with either subscription or retainer type of service depending on their needs.
MDI Business Development Manager Jed Cruz added that companies can choose what type of service works best for them.
“We understand that everybody is going to rapidly adopt the solution, train their people to use it but we know as trusted partner, we go in and give them what they need initially. We’re like the 911 service of these organizations,” Cruz said.
Johnson said their goal is to mix people’s skill and talent with the efficiencies of technology, as he believes there is a demand for talent in the IT sector worldwide that is affecting business processes.
“A lot of organization do not have the people or even if you have the people, it is going to take a while to get some maturity. So you start looking at a manage provider and it accelerates your program overnight. What happens is you learn some of their expertise or you continue to outsource. I think it is around accelerating your capabilities. It is hard to put a price tag on that but I see a huge demand for management security,” Johnson said.