The need to protect data is becoming a top priority for many businesses, especially when it comes to protecting the sensitive data of customers or clients. With this in mind, CEO of Calibra Solutions Ltd George Whyte, a former information technology (IT) professional, originally from Jamaica, decided to start offering these solutions in TT.
"I came to TT on an IT project and when that was completed, I got a job with Illuminat Ltd (a tech and communications service provider), which was eventually sold to another entity. After working there for about four and a half years and having an entrepreneurial flair, I decided to chart my own course, which is a bit unusual, given I am a foreign national, but I had confidence in my ability as an IT professional."
Whyte started his first company in 2008 and focused on serving human resources and payroll departments, but went into cybersecurity seven years ago after surveying the digital landscape.
"We found an interesting state-of-the-art product out of the UK that leveraged artificial intelligence (AI), which turned out to be a really good strategy.”
Since the company switched to cybersecurity, Whyte said it has had great success across the Caribbean through its protection of critical national infrastructure, particularly in TT. Though Whyte could not reveal which companies he works with, he said many top groups and companies use his services.
“Cybersecurity has become a global phenomenon and in terms of our focus, we have a self-learning AI product which was very well-received. Companies typically need a firewall as the first layer and antivirus software as another layer, but because these threats are so sophisticated and evolving their tools...two layers are not enough, so we provide a third layer that picks up issues that are unusual on computer networks. We detect and prevent them from causing disruption.”
Whyte added that people also need to be aware of cyber threats as it is quite complex and dangerous.
“The surface web is what we typically use in our day-to-day operations, but the dark web is a bad area consisting of a lot more data than the surface web. And the threat actors have very effective channels for communicating. They sometimes want to sell things that they have, like stolen IDs, and use it for a ransom that they would have demanded from companies affected through Bitcoin.
"So what we have with Dark Web Intelligence is a set of tools that help to remove the anonymity of threat actors, so we are able to detect them. An example would be the bomb threat to schools that affected exams. The threat actors would have used tools to protect their IP addresses, e-mail addresses and all kinds of different sources that typically would have been anonymous.”
He suggested that law enforcement gets involved in instances where the dark web poses threat to data or a person.
While law enforcement is able to get this information, the laws must be updated or amended, so evidence of this nature can be presented in court.
Whyte has also been hosting meetings with various countries' law enforcement and the police cybercrime unit.
“This particular event was to talk about the Search Light and Dark Web Intelligence tool. And the foundation of this came from theoretical work done by one of our founders, who has a PhD in dark web intelligence and has developed a real-world product that has that kind of application, so the event was really to indicate the work that has been done and the products they have in their portfolio, which includes Cerberus security and Dark IQ. I would have gone into some specific use cases of how that tool would be used to detect different types of criminals operating the dark web and be able to shine a light via Search Light on different areas of the dark web.
"Since the event we've had some follow-up from the Royal Grenada Police Force and we have started some work with TTPS. So we're actually talking to different agencies within the Ministry of National Security, so that they can see the business value and hopefully leverage these tools in their day-to-day work.”
He added that the training also touches on different types of criminal activity.
"We will use a tool to pick up the chatter on the dark web in terms of what is expected to come in through to the country, through which channels or ports. Law enforcement will now have a heads-up on what to expect and to take necessary action to catch those perpetrators in action and help them in their work. There is also a human trafficking component in that tool that can help law enforcement tackle different criminal types of criminal activities.