The best way to improve the security of a computer network is to break into it.
That was the advice from cybersecurity expert Fernando Gont of SI6 Networks, speaking at the eighth regional gathering of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) now underway in Curacao.
The slate of expert speakers presenting on cyber security included Mark Kosters, chief technical officer with the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) and Carlos Martínez, chief technology officer at LACNIC, who took a practical and in-depth look at the nuts and bolts of Internet security.
Martinez said he was “very, very disappointed” with the security industry because their operations were being motivated by the wrong incentives. He compared digital security to national security.
“It works the same way as a private prison. Their best interest is to keep things in a bad state. Their best business comes about by having a bad security situation. What is the financial incentive for them to improve the overall security situation? The best interest of the private prison is to have many prisoners but is that in the best interest of society? No, but the financial incentives of the security industry are wrong.”
Apart from cyber security, the meeting covers a range of technology topics including cloud computing, critical Internet infrastructure and mobile broadband.
For the group the social networking is as important as the computer networking. Between and after highly technical sessions, participants linger in pockets of conversation.
“The CaribNOG meeting is an interesting gathering where competitors in daily business become colleagues with the common interest in defending Caribbean networks,” said Bevil Wooding, one of the CaribNOG founders and an organiser of the weeklong event.
Interactions over meals and side meetings during breaks are a regular and important feature of the conference, which attracts technology professionals representing diverse interests from around the region and across the world.
The event is being held at the Hilton Curacao, Willemstad from September 29 to October 3.