Caribbean poised to take lead in fight against cybercrime - Mantinhas
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday December 14, 2011 - The Caribbean as a region is in a unique position to become the global leader in combating cyber security threats.
That’s the view of Mr. Nuno Mantinhas, Director of Sales, Caribbean and Latin America with Fortinet Inc, a United-States-based leading network security provider and the worldwide leader of unified threat management (UTM) solutions.
Speaking in an interview in Barbados, following the 9th Annual Caribbean Ministerial Strategic ICT Seminar at the Crane Hotel, Mr. Mantinhas said he was impressed by the demonstration of commitment by regional governments to collaboration in the area of security policy. “Indeed, I have not seen this urge for collaboration anywhere else in the world and if the governments of the Caribbean can come together to set security policies and enforce laws against cybercrime, the cost of and reliability on security will be much less to each member state.”
“We want to leverage public awareness of security and ensure that people understand the risk.”--Nuno MantinhasMr. Mantinhas made special note of the revelation at the Barbados Ministerial Meeting that the Caribbean, as a region, was the world’s fastest growing internet user, with a user growth rate of some 1,397% over the past 11 years, beating Asia, for example, with a growth rate of only 700% .
“This is definitely a wake-up call. The internet is literally boiling in the Caribbean and where there is a high level of internet usage, we’ll be faced with greater security risks,” said Mr. Mantinhas.
“There is evidently an explosion on internet usage in the Caribbean, but if we do not take care of our network systems, we’ll have lots of problems. It’s like going into a Formula One car with no brakes.”
Mr. Mantinhas said it was in this context that the Caribbean was well poised to be the global pacesetters as a region in their expression of willingness to collaborate on strategies for combating cybercrime and Fortinet was committed to facilitate this critical process.
“We stand ready to work with the governments of the region to build capacity in the areas of improving and spreading best security architecture practices, and helping to design secure access and infrastructures, which would be vital to regional intelligence.”
“We want to leverage public awareness of security and ensure that people understand the risk, where they are and where they should be in the future with regard to security.”
Mr. Mantinhas said his company was setting up a Caribbean office in Puerto Rico which would be providing training in best practices in network security, eliminating the necessity for such training to be sought outside the Caribbean. He said network security was a dynamic industry in which all players needed to be ahead of the curve. “At the Barbados Ministerial Conference, I saw people seeking to build a standard security policy,” he said.
“We are hoping to invest in this region in 2012 and to assist in designing a solid road map for security development. This is a complex challenge which has not been addressed anywhere else in the world and I feel confident that the governments of the region will make history in coming together to meet the challenge.”
Mr. Mantinhas’ comments come on the heels of a warning to regional governments by Bernadette Lewis, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, of the dangers of cyber crime as a potential threat to the national security of Caribbean states.