Ryan Sterling, director of Guardsman Cyber Intelligence (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

GUARDSMAN Group is helping businesses to improve their cybersecurity posture and get compliant ahead of the new Data Protection Act, with the launch of its new Guardsman cyberintelligence service GCI.

The launch took place on the rooftop of its new unfinished Beryllium headquarters in downtown Kingston Wednesday evening and is the first local-based security operations centre.

"If we want to grow our business if we want to digitise our business, we need to make sure that there is a company, a group, in the Caribbean, in Jamaica, that can give you the support that you need," Vinay Walia, managing director of Guardsman Group, said.

He noted that with the increased use of technology and digital systems, cyber-attacks have become sophisticated and are posing significant risks to businesses, adding that businesses have to be proactive rather than reactive.

Vinay Walia, managing director of Guardsman Group.

"It is to help you [businesses] protect sensitive customer data, prevent financial losses that may incur just because you've been not careless but there are people who are wanting to get into your system and to support you to comply with the regulations," he said.

While providing a presentation on the global and local cybersecurity landscape, guest speaker Corlane Barclay, a cybercrime and cybersecurity consultant, noted that most cybersecurity risks are cybercrime and security breeches.

"We recognise that the cost of cybercrime and security breaches is skyrocketing; our current estimates put that between US$8 and US$10 trillion per annum. As a result of that, it is important to understand that it's costly, obviously one wants to minimise that," revealed Barclay. She further stated that the cost extends beyond financial losses to reputational damage.

In detailing features of the service, Ryan Sterling, director of GCI, was proud to highlight its customer and brand protection component.

Corlane Barclay, cybercrime and cybersecurity consultant (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

"Our team and platform monitors for all suspicious activities relating to your brand across the clear net, dark net and deep web. We'll cover all forms of mainstream social media as well as instant messaging platforms and forums."

This, he said is to identify phishing and smishing activities.

Other features include identifying attacks, compromised vulnerable systems by acting as malicious actors and managing threat, detection and response for organisations which provide active pursuit of potential malicious presence within networks.

In an interview with the Jamaica observer Sterling said GCI will be monitoring data to ensure that any malicious actors are not able to access it and if they do, it's quickly detected.

Under the data protection act, breaches should be reported as soon as detected to the Office of the Information Commissioner. Sterling said with the system being offered, it will show the information commissioner that businesses are doing what is necessary to be compliant.

"We'll be able to say, okay, here's what the organisation did t0 protect their environment, here's what they are doing to ensure that their mitigations are in place and then going forward the commssioner would make a ruling. But what we're offering is to partnership with entities to say they are doing what is necessary to be compliant with the Data Protection Act," Sterling continued.

He added that it will also allow companies to show their customers they are taking data protection seriously.

The service will be available by the end of March with a 24/7 security operations centre to be opened late summer. Guardsman also revealed plans to offer more services to include archive management, and is planning acquisitions to enter human resources management. Just last year, the security company launched Guardsman Metaverse, which is an integrated security solutions company that offers advanced technologies to make homes and businesses safer.

BY CODIE-ANN BARRETT Senior business reporter barrettc@jamaicaobserver.com

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