Gateway’s Kyle sounds cybersecurity warning

  • Data protection: Gateway Systems Ltd helps Bermuda companies with cybersecurity issues

As the potential threats and attacks become more advanced, so do cybersecurity companies on the island.

Amid widespread cyberattacks, the fear of personal data and private information being compromised has become prominent.

John Kyle, managing director at Gateway Systems said: “Companies need to educate their staff on how to protect against these kinds of attacks.

“I wouldn’t use the word hacking, it is exploiting weaknesses in people’s systems. That is not hacking, that is people not having the right security in place.”

He mentioned that ransomware is a common means of attack. Several organisations in Bermuda have fallen foul of it by clicking on an e-mail and inadvertently allowing software to get into the organisation’s system and encrypt all its data. The cyberattackers demand a ransom payment to release the data.

Mr Kyle said: “I never advise anyone to pay any ransom, therefore you need to be in a position to recover the data, no matter what happens.”

Gateway puts in place systems to recover data that have been compromised.

“This is why educating your staff is so important and to have them aware of the things to look for and make them understand that they are the best line of defence.

“If you do not have a process in place there is an issue.”

Installing software that inspect every piece of data coming into your organisation can identify the Trojan horse e-mails before they can do any harm.

“Anything like this has a cost, but companies have to decide if the information and data they have is worth it,” Mr Kyle said. “I believe that companies cannot afford not to have it.”

New data-protection laws will soon come into effect, giving customers the right to be informed immediately if their personal information has been compromised.

In some instances, companies had not revealed breaches to customers until months later, so the new laws will have rules to protect customers and add security.

A high-profile example of this was Equifax, an American credit bureau, which was compromised with 143 million customers’ data and private information accessed.

The attack happened in May this year, but customers did not find out until two months later.

“About one in four companies are compromised per year, this is why you need systems in place to recover the data,” Mr Kyle said.

He advised individuals not to keep personal information online if it’s not needed.

He said, always take credit cards off sites, especially if you will not use it again as this leaves yourself open to attack.

“I can honestly say that every company that had their data compromised, we recovered it,” Mr Kyle said.

“We have specialists who fly in from overseas and deal with the problem right away,” he said.

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