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Data held hostage!!

Gone are the days where diamond, gold and precious metals and stones were high in the value chain now information and data is king a of that value chain.

At the launch of Facebook’s IPO the company was valued at 104 billion USD majority of that valuation was due to the amount of users and data they have about users.

Awwww isnt data a beautiful thing 🙂

For.further information on why Facebook’s data is worth so much check out here. http://www.pcworld.com/article/255783/facebook_ipo_why_your_data_is_worth_93_billion.html

Securing our investment

If you have a home valued at 104 billion USD I’m sure you will put all measures to keep it safe from internal and external destruction and vandalism. You may even want to keep it in a bubble or this is the case for any valuable we have. Why isn’t the same level of security placed on data which by the looks of it is valued more than any physical/tangible material on the planet.

Our data in Jamaica and the Caribbean is no different. By now Jamaica and the diaspora should be aware data for 14,000 Jamaican students from 16 educational institution have been held hostage by persons who clearly understand the value of the data more than our own technocrats, educational institutions and Ministry of Education. Article can be found here.
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20170430/us5000-or-else-hackers-hijack-data-16-jamaican-schools-and-demand

Or we don’t see what’s at stake for your lack of data security.

1. Students can’t matriculate through the school system due to missing grades.
2. Teachers can’t properly assess the progress of their students due to missing records
3. Students and parents who need these records to secure their children future in tertiary institutions are possibly at stake.
4. Is the integrity of the data still at 100% when returned. If I were the hacker I would change all grades to 100% and give these students a early Christmas gift.

And the repercussions go on. However no one is bothered.

I think our technocrats need to ensure they are trained into data security and integrity else educational records might be the beginning. Next could be hospital records, financial data, electoral data hopefully you see the potential problems.

We are all about solutions and mitigation so here is data security 101.

1. Data backups are a critical part of the data protection and recovery process. Backing up data enables duplicate copies of data to be stored separately from the primary storage medium and ensures that data is available if the primary storage fails.

2. Put up a strong firewall – A firewall protects your network by controlling internet traffic coming into and flowing out of your business.

3. Data encryption – Encryption software changes the way information looks on the harddrive so that, without the correct password, it can’t be read or modified.

4. Monitor diligently – All this great technology is no good unless you actually use it. You have to have someone be accountable for it or if you don’t want to monitor it yourselves there are automated tools out there that can monitor it for you.

Those are the basics but with the advancement in technology and its use by heroes and vilians we have to be two steps ahead or 10 for our investments depends on it. In this case they only want 5000 USD it could be 104 billion USD the next time around.

Happy encrypting!!!

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Gavin

Hola! Im a software developer/business analyst by day and a product strategist by night. Have a passion for helping persons actualizing their ideas whether through software or research. The main vision I have for contributing to this blog is to shed some light on how we can bring software in the Caribbean to the modern century which focuses on the user and how to make their usage seamless, logical yet secure. Enjoy..

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