UTT wants to ramp up the cyber security work

Prof Clement Imbert -
Prof Clement Imbert -

Given its success to date and amid new emerging threats, the University of TT (UTT) hopes to ramp up its cybersecurity programme.

Speaking to graduates during a ceremony at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain, on Tuesday, chairman of the board of governors Prof Clement Imbert said last week's cyber attack on TSTT underscored the need for the work of the Cybersecurity Institute which was launched in July.

After the ceremony, Imbert told Newsday technology was advancing rapidly, increasing the risk posed by hackers.

"There are devices now that we can use within the vicinity of a hall, for example, to hack into people's cellphones and other devices people may have on them. So we have to be very vigilant with modern technology, particularly the criminal-minded people."

Headed by Prof Yufei Wu, Imbert said the Cybersecurity Institute's capacity was being built up with the necessary software and hardware to ensure a robust system.

He said around 25 people graduated from the university's cybersecurity master's degree programme this year with roughly 30 currently enrolled.

While he didn't say what the end vision was for the university's cybersecurity programme, he noted that it would always be relevant.

"We have AI and all those derivatives of AI that is coming on. The more we have technology, the more we have the opportunity for people to practise criminal activities.

"We can't predict the end (goal but) I think it will be an ongoing programme for a long time."

Imbert said the university was liaising with international bodies to ensure its system was robust enough to tackle cybersecurity issues at the institute.

In October, hackers reportedly gained access to TSTT's database, stealing and releasing some six gigabytes of customers' data on the dark web.

Although he initially denied the ransomware attack, Minister of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales has since ordered a probe into the incident.

The office of the Attorney General was also the victim of a cyberattack in July, temporarily disrupting services.

A year earlier, Massy Stores was hit by a cyberattack with 87,550 folders and 704,047 corporate files being publicly released.


"UTT wants to ramp up the cyber security work"

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