Regional Data Security Summit – Critical Forum For Key IT Players


The Regional Data Security Summit scheduled for March 17 is gearing up to be a critical forum for key players in the information technology sector.
Three main regional suppliers of computer security products and services have joined forces to co-present the event, which is being staged by the Central Information Technology Office (CITO).
At a press briefing on Tuesday (Feb. 17) at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, representatives of the three companies, IBM World Trade Corporation, Microsoft, and Fujitsu, along with the Jamaica Computer Society provided insight into the concept behind the summit.
Chief Executive Officer of CITO, Michael duQuesnay advised that the Office was starting its promotion and advertising campaign for the summit early and would be doing so through the local print and electronic media.
He said the conference, themed: ‘Securing Enterprise Data In The Cyberworld’ was about “security and in particular, security as it relates to the information technology world.governments are particularly pleased with the response that we have had from the suppliers in the region, of security products and services”. He noted that Fujitsu, IBM and Microsoft had all agreed to commit to sharing the same platform and working together in a non-competitive way to educate and inform.
The common theme among the representatives from all three companies was that the initiative was one that was critical to the survival and security of companies as well as to the nation as a whole.
Advisory Client Representative of IBM, Cuthbert S. Lloyd told reporters: “This is the beginning of a collaboration in Jamaica between three major vendors.
It is really an opportunity for us to help Jamaica to develop and grow. One of IBM’s commitment to this community is to be a good corporate citizen and if we have properly architected and implemented systems, then the country will in fact benefit from that and therefore we will have more stable environments, more time to do the business of government and private sector and put the focus in the right area”.
He further stated: “It’s a time for us to help Jamaica to structure our approach to using the appropriate technologies which will secure our data, and secure our systems so that the executives, the technocrats and the users can in fact focus on getting the job done without a lot of unplanned intrusions or interruptions. That’s what securing your data and your network aims to do”.
Meanwhile, General Manager of Microsoft West Indies, Rick Marcet emphasized, “This isn’t about Microsoft, Fujitsu or IBM, but rather recognising that we are already embedded in much of the commerce and the movement of information within this region.
It was really a conscious effort to recognize that information security is no longer just about information, its more about national security and we as good stewards of the region have the responsibility to come together, raise the awareness, work with private and public organisations to ensure that they are updated on the emerging threat”.
Echoing similar sentiments, Managing Director of Fujitsu, Mervyn Eyre said all three companies recognised the importance of CITO as an organization to national development and that CITO’s strategy and responsibility vested by the government in the people of Jamaica was to create an awareness of the use of information technology for national development.
“As major players in the region, none of us could ignore the call of CITO to embrace a very important message like this. Of the top ten agendas that IT professionals have globally, security is in the top two,” he said, noting that Fujitsu saw CITO as an organization empowered by the government of Jamaica to assume a leadership responsibility in two aspects; protecting the country’s IT assets not only in government, but within private enterprises; and using IT as a means of wealth creation for the country.
Mr. duQuesnay explained that the conference would target two chief executive officers in the region and the chief technical/information officers, who were “the people who have the authority and the ability to deploy resources”. He said that although the summit targeted a very senior audience, the technical persons who were the day-to-day implementers and managers would be facilitated by the Jamaica Computer Society on March 18th. The JCS will hold a series of technical workshops leveraging on the publicity and key technical personnel who will support these sessions.
Already, he divulged, a mailing list of 200 persons had been established and to date, the feedback had been “extraordinarily positive”, indicating that the event would be oversubscribed. The summit, which will be held with the full support of the Ministry of Commerce, Science and Technology, will look at:. threats to enterprises, vulnerabilities and their sources. imperatives for delivering trustworthy and secure internet services. using international best practices and standards. doing risk assessment and calculating the benefits of securing company data. trends and directions in data security
. convergence of data security issues (physical and computer; public and private sector; legislative frameworks and practices; and practices to create and maintain trust. mechanics of developing a plan for improved security. critical implementation hurdles and issues
The summit will be held at the Hilton Kingston Hotel with a registration cost of US$50 payable by cash, company or manager’s cheque.
Established in 2002, CITO is a publicly owned company established by Cabinet to assist with executing the objectives of the national ICT policy, which is to have “joined-up” government, linking government activities to develop e-commerce and e-government. The body has been mandated to facilitate, define, implement, monitor, source and continuously improve public sector ICT services to create quality and efficiency in a cost effective manner.

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