Cyber threats and security in the Caribbean 2017 update

Our 2017 Expert Insight series on network intrusion and security in the Caribbean continues with Hector Dias, a network/IT security professional based in the Dominican Republic.


In this the second in our Expert insights series for 2017 on cyber threats and security in the Caribbean, we are thrilled, once again, to have Hector Diaz of Cylance, a cybersecurity products and services company, who is based in the Dominican Republic. Previously, Hector was Regional Account Manager, Caribbean, at Intel Security (formerly known as McAfee). He has extensive experience in the IT security space, and possesses a diverse skills set, which includes a strong technical background in infrastructure and security.

Michelle Marius:  Hector, give us a quick recap of what have been the most prevalent types of incidents in the Dominican Republic and/or in the Caribbean region over the past year or so? How has the threat landscape changed?

Hector Diaz:   Hi Michele, thanks for having me as part of the series once again in 2017. The threat landscape in Caribbean region has evolved to incorporate new techniques and to cover a wider spectrum of targets. Every year more and more companies and consumers are depending on technology for pretty much each process from CRM systems to an individual purchasing some goods on the web. Per the 2016 Verizon Data Breach Report, and I quote “in a [whopping] 93% of the cases they analyzed, systems were compromised in minutes or less and data exfiltration happened within minutes in 28% of cases. But even where exfiltration took days, the criminals didn’t need to worry. In 83% of cases, victims didn’t find out they’d been breached for weeks or more”.

If we add to this the growing and visible threat of ransomware, I think we still have a lot of room for improvement in the region in the adoption of proper policies and user education which should be complemented also with technologies that can coexist with the user and provide protection without interfering with business processes or the actual user computing experience.

In terms of providing real/objective data about incidents in the region, it is almost impossible to get our hands in some reliable data other than telemetry that vendors can collect to identify the origin of a threat or the number of detections that occur in a region, other than that, the region still lacks of regulations that obligate them to disclose IT security incidents.