Experts say it’s time to strengthen regional internet infrastructure
Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2021. 12:39 PM CST.
By Aaron Humes: One impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the rush to accelerate the digitization of government systems and the movement of essential services online, according to Bevil Wooding, director of Caribbean affairs at ARIN, a nonprofit that manages the distribution of Internet number resources in many Caribbean. and the North Atlantic Islands, Canada and the United States.
At a forum this week hosted by the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), he and other regional IT experts are calling for more to be done to keep critical systems secure, resilient and accessible in the face of growing threats.
Wooding explained, “This rush to deliver online services has revealed several weaknesses in the region’s internet infrastructure, human resource capacities and institutional readiness. Ensuring the security, resilience and accessibility of critical local and regional systems is now more difficult than ever. It is also more than ever our collective responsibility to ensure that the region is able to effectively tackle these important issues. “
Niel Harper, born in Barbados, head of information security at the United Nations Office for Project Services, further called for greater attention to developing relevant local skills and combating against growing cybersecurity threats and encouraged Caribbean stakeholders to work together to mitigate the risks posed by increasing cyberthreats. “Recent events – including the adoption of remote work, the rapid shift to cloud computing, and some high-level cyber attacks – all indicate that the threat landscape is more complex than ever,”
Dr Moniphia Hewling, founder of cybersecurity consultancy eMRock and former leader of Jamaica’s Cyber Incident Response Team, provided an overview of the cybersecurity landscape in the Caribbean. She highlighted some of the issues facing security practitioners and called for greater transparency in reporting cyber attacks in the region.
“To better understand the problem posed by cyber attacks in the region, we need to be able to better measure the extent and impact of the attacks. This requires greater and faster disclosure from the organizations involved so that definitive numbers can be associated with the cybersecurity issue. Where there is no effective measure, mitigation and remediation will always be compromised, ”Hewling said.
The audience included network administrators, technology professionals, regulators, security experts, academics and business leaders. CaribNOG is a diverse volunteer community formed over 10 years ago to facilitate the sharing of technical knowledge and experiences related to managing computer networks in the Caribbean.
In addition to its diverse audience, the forum gathered an impressive roster of presenters, including Mark Kosters, CTO, ARIN; Carlos Martinez-Cagnazzo, Technical Director, Latin American and Caribbean Internet Address Registry (LACNIC); Dr Sean Thorpe, Associate Professor and Head of School of Computing and Information Technology, Jamaica; and David Soltero, senior chief infrastructure engineer, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration, LACNIC; and Stephen Lee, CEO of Arkitechs Inc and Program Coordinator for CaribNOG.
“The forum provides participants with access to regional and international experts as well as the opportunity to gain practical knowledge on topical issues such as network security and network engineering best practices. Most importantly, the forum allows like-minded professionals with diverse skills the opportunity to work together to support the development of the Internet in the Caribbean, ”said Dr. Clair Craig, Director of Research at CaribNOG .
The ARIN / CaribNOG Forum was organized in collaboration with LACNIC, ICANN, the Internet Society and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union. The organizations plan to host a series of related events in 2021, to further support technical capacity building targeting network operators, government officials, regulators, and law enforcement and security actors. public.
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