Shaken not Stirred

Image of Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

UNLIKE the warning signs that typically precede bad weather to allow some preparation time, the sudden arrival of an earth tremor is decidedly unsettling, until it is over. The mild tremors experienced in Saint Lucia on Tuesday at about 5:30pm presented such an example. There was no way to know whether the tremors would intensify, or whether the walls or roof would fail. Incidentally, an ongoing meeting was unceremoniously interrupted to seek the relative safety of a sturdy doorway, while waiting nervously with my colleagues for the creaking and tremors to subside. Thankfully we were spared on this occasion, and the meeting continued remarkably calmly after checking that friends and relatives were similarly spared.

In the world of ICT, the concept of receiving notice before suffering some form of attack is dependant on the type of failure. Some impending hardware failures may cause an unusual noise, giving early notice of the need to undertake repairs. Some software issues may be immediately noticed by unusual behaviour. Unfortunately, in the worst case, some cyberattacks may only discovered some time afterward when sensitive data such as credit card or identity information are misused, or ransoms demanded

The sign we used on Tuesday to return to our normal routine was the steady ground below our feet. For those of us who use computer equipment, it should be the awareness of suitable systems, equipment, trained personnel, and backups for recovery in case of failure.

From a country-wide perspective, we would probably be more at ease if we had some assurance that our critical infrastructure was more resilient. Likewise for systems to protect the safety of original documents demanded by agencies to conduct transactions, something easily accomplished by conducting more transactions in an online manner. Hopefully the tremors have shaken us into a more thoughtful state as we plan for greater resilience.

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About the Author
Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia. His expertise includes systems analysis, design, and capacity building.

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