Global leader Hitachi in Guyana to ‘build rather than bolt’ cyber resilience


By Kurt Campbell

Hitachi System Security, one of the largest companies in the world, is looking to bring its services to Guyana, promising to help the government and local businesses become more preventative through much-needed investments in cyber resilience.

It comes as the Guyana Government and private sector are together and independently undergoing a massive digital transformation, one that makes the cyber security landscape more critically exposed to the world.

The cyber security and data privacy company’s Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Subero sat down with the News Room for an interview during a recent visit to Georgetown, affirming the focus on security solutions and services remains.

In 2015, Hitachi acquired Above Security Inc., a Canada-based global IT security service provider, which has been in the Caribbean for almost two decades.

After the period of transition, the company now intends to expand its business to Guyana, Suriname and other French-speaking Caribbean territories.

Subero reasoned that with an extremely competitive cyber security landscape, Hitachi has positioned its services around people, but also recognised the huge gap in the global market for cyber security expertise.

“We are encouraging security by design as a key component rather than we say build it rather than bolt it. So, we are looking to see how we can help and bring value to that.”

It is against this backdrop that he pointed to the huge opportunity for Guyana, a new oil producer that is experiencing unprecedented economic growth, to do it right.

And as he sees it, doing it right would entail security by design, one that is built rather than one that is responsive after a crisis.

“Cyber-attacks will continue, it is among the top five global risks,” Hitachi’s CEO noted while reminding of what occurred in Costa Rica and Guadeloupe in 2022.

On April 17, 2022, a ransomware attack began against nearly 30 institutions of the Government of Costa Rica and on May 08, 2022, President Rodrigo Chaves Robles decreed a state of national emergency due to the cyber-attacks.

And in November 2022, the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe was forced to shut down all its computer networks to protect data after a “large-scale cyberattack”.

“As I tell people, you can build it or buy it and we are here to do both.”

The company hosted a ‘Breakfast and Learn event’ at the Marriott Hotel in Kingston on March 28 and Subero said the response was unexpected.

“We bring expertise that will allow us to build cyber resilience for businesses and government, as well as, leverage investment in technology.

“Today was extremely well attended. We catered for 40 and had over 50 persons… across the region, we have been trying to generate and evangelise the issue around cyber security and cyber resilience… it’s a regional issue, a country issue and a business issue,” Subero added.

He was accompanied on his visit but other company executives, including Regional Vice President of Sales, Stephen Juteram, who has also been personally engaged in Guyana in the field of technology for the last 20 years.

Juteram said Guyana’s cyber threat landscape has accelerated drastically which requires a change in the way governments and businesses address cyber security.

“I think we are still treating with cyber security the way we did it five 10 years ago which is to just throw tools at it and that’s fine… but the sophistication of cybercrime goes way beyond the tools,” Juteram reasoned.

He said while there are doubts about cyber threats, those who are unprepared will be worst affected.

“It is quite visible. We say the Caribbean is under attack and that is no doubt.”

Juteram said businesses and governments in the region must understand that the approach to cyber security has to change, noting that Hitachi will remain in the region to address the needs of the market.

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