Op-ED: Unleashing the power of cyber security

Op-ED: Unleashing the power of cyber security


The growth of today’s businesses, regardless of their size, depends on the availability and accuracy of data. Unsurprisingly, many companies are rapidly adopting management information systems to store, protect, present, and use information. As such, all businesses are still vulnerable to major losses from cyber-attacks.  

In today’s digital landscape, it is imperative to prioritize online security due to the staggering number of cyberattacks that occur annually. With an estimated 8,000 cyberattacks per year, assuming safety or neglecting security measures is no longer an option. The frequency of hacker attacks is alarming, with a new attack transpiring every 39 seconds. These statistics highlight the urgent need for individuals and organizations to take proactive steps in safeguarding their online presence.

According to Electric.ai, which lists “High Profile Company Data Breaches,” in the US, 2023 saw ransomware attacks against MGM and Caesars. Also, there was the mass hack of the file transfer tool, MOVEit, which impacted more than 200 organizations and up to 17.5 million individuals. Multiple US federal agencies are among those affected, including the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Health and Human Services. It’s believed most schools across the U.S. have also been targeted by the hack. 

As the implications of the attack continue to emerge, further breaches have been confirmed at Shell, Siemens Energy, Schneider Electric, First Merchants Bank, City National Bank, and several international targets. T-Mobile was attacked, with 37 million customer’s data compromised. Fast-food giants like Yum Brands (KFC, Taco Bell & Pizza Hut) and Chick-fil-A were attacked.

AI global leader ChatGPT and Video Gaming Company Activision had data breaches proving that no business anywhere is immune from Cyber Attacks.

Hackers around the world are exploiting security vulnerabilities to hold corporate, government, and business organization’s data hostage, sometimes collecting tens of millions in extortion fees. The country of Costa Rica was attacked in 2021 by the Russian hacking group Conti, known by cybersecurity experts as the largest active ransomware group at the time, costing the Government an estimated $180 million in losses. Likewise, as reported by TechCrunch in 2021, Jamaica’s immigration website exposed thousands of travelers’ data, including immigration records and COVID-19 test results by a government contractor. 

In response to the alarming surge in cyber-attacks, governments are prioritizing the need for immediate action. Trinidad and Tobago have taken a proactive stance by introducing a compelling initiative to safeguard businesses. By granting a tax exemption of up to TT $500,000, the government aims to incentivize companies to invest in robust cybersecurity measures. This forward-thinking approach, implemented on January 1, 2024, demonstrates the country’s commitment to addressing the escalating cybercrime landscape that poses risks to public and private entities alike.

As we continue to discover the great benefits of artificial intelligence and big data, companies, and enterprises are ready to jump on the generative AI and Big Data bandwagon. Yet some are considering it a “double-edged sword” for the cybersecurity industry. 

According to the Data Breach Tracker, even hackers are now using AI-powered Tools for increasingly sophisticated attacks, IT/security teams are struggling more than ever to keep up with the pace of cybercriminals. The need for adequate staff training, as well as creating an atmosphere of trust to report any issues, has never been greater.

Businesses are turning to IT consultants at a time when cybersecurity needs are at an all-time high around the world. An example of this is Plante Moran, a company that generates $1 billion in revenue and is internationally recognized for its expertise in Audit, Accounting, and IT. They have made Cybersecurity a top priority and have recently formed a strategic alliance with Pervoje, a company with an untarnished long history of working with Governments and Businesses in the Caribbean and a history of world-class IT management, to collaborate on achieving Cybersecurity excellence in the Caribbean region. By joining forces, this alliance presents a powerful cybersecurity offering that is specifically designed to fortify the safeguarding of businesses and government services in the Caribbean region. The partnership’s value proposition is centered around delivering impactful solutions that address the unique security challenges faced by organizations in this area.

Hackers never stop. Not every business possesses the capabilities to effectively identify and mitigate cyberattacks before they cause harm to their operations. Hence, it is imperative for businesses to take a proactive stance when it comes to protecting themselves against threats. By engaging in regular consultations and assessments, organizations can identify vulnerabilities, implement robust security measures, and stay one step ahead of potential cyberattacks. This proactive mindset is a catalyst for unleashing the true power of cybersecurity, enabling individuals and organizations to not only survive but also thrive in today’s complex digital age.

Written by: Dr Rudy Cardona