Worrisome Data Breaches

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By Dr Neil Gosine

DATA breaches at some state-owned companies and even large conglomerates and banks in Trinidad and Tobago are very worrisome.

Public pressure is mounting on the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) executives from many quarters however, they cannot be pointing fingers at anyone without proper investigations as doing so is just playing foolish with nonsense.

Many companies have been breached all over the world and to be pointing fingers without proper investigation is unfair and unwarranted.

Ransomware is a malware designed to specifically stop a user or organisation from accessing files on their system. By encrypting these files, they then demand a ransom payment for the decryption key. Cyber Attackers have become so good at this that they place organisations in a very difficult position in order to make them pay the ransom in order to get back access to their own computer systems. Organisations may have no choice to pay as it is the easiest and cheapest option to regain access to their files.


There are many calls asking for information on who are the customers that suffered their information breached and leaked on the dark web. Also I’m sure that everyone is concerned over their personal data being stolen or leaked on the dark web.

One thing management must be focused on at this moment is minimising the fallout publicly and looking to build back confidence with their customers. No one should be attacking the wrong people for this type of breach as these types of attacks have become very common in our country.


We can only hope that the Government or the national security services which are the ultimate decision makers can answer the relevant questions on how to protect our citizens confidential personal information from future attacks and see that it doesn’t happen again.

We can not point fingers at management at this time and look for scapegoats. Yes we understand the breaches seen across the various sectors in Trinidad and Tobago are worrying and should be treated at the highest level, and to ensure we protect ourselves we need the ministers at the ministerial level to step up and to ensure that across the financial sectors and the telecommunications sector we are safe from further cyberattacks. They must put legislation in place to protect our citizens. Saying that it’s receiving the necessary attention from the national security services of Trinidad and Tobago doesn’t give any citizen any comfort at all.


I’m tired of seeing key governmental officials attacking the wrong people instead of tackling the real issues within the state-owned companies, and finding proper solutions to work with the management.

All this does is make matters worse at these times that are critical to the company’s customers or holding the company at ransom which affects the profitable position of the company.

The reason why the company has all these problems and has to look at cutting costs, cutting staff and are faced with all these issues is because for years the Government has made management hire people from their loyal constituencies, they treat state-owned companies like their own employment agencies for their party faithfuls.

The state-owned companies’ have a real problem with the quality of employees that they are forced to hire and have become so inefficient it is impossible to get them back on track and these are some of the reasons why the companies are in the state they are in and why their customers face the consequences.

Neil Gosine is an insurance executive. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.


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