Dinis Guarda Interviews Jorge Sebastiao, Technology Thought Leader And Influencer

Jorge Sebastiao is a technology thought leader, influencer and ICT expert in the area of cyber security with more than 35 years of experience in technology systems. In this new interview for citiesabc, conducted by Dinis Guarda, cyber security is a central theme as every digital system exposes new – and unexpected, risks. That is especially worrisome in Smart Cities projects, as Jorge Sebastiao points out. From that perspective, both experts speak about technology adoption in the Middle East and in the World, the Covid-19 pandemic and the development of emerging technologies like blockchain, AI or the roll-out of 5G.

Interview Structure

  1. Biography, education,
  2. Professional career as ICT expert, CTO, Huawei until now
  3. Challenges and opportunities working in different cultures and countries. Middle East experience
  4. Evolution of technology and its impact
  5. Cybersecurity: threats, solutions and emerging technologies
  6. Smart Cities
  7. Covid-19 pandemic: how technology can help us fight the crisis back

Evolution of Technology

Jorge Sebastiao has visited over 60 countries along his extensive career and is now located in the Middle East, working as a CTO of Eco-System. From here he has seen first-hand how impactful has been the evolution of technology in an otherwise very traditional culture. “The evolution of technology and its impact has been dramatic,” said Jorge Sebastiao. “25 years ago internet connection points, for example in Saudi Arabia, were hard to find. Whereas now there is high-speed connectivity everywhere. The Middle East went from nothing to having all these high-end technology in a very short period of time. It has been impressive.”

Emerging Technologies: Blockchain, 5G, AI, Big Data

As the expert hinted, 5G, blockchain, AI, IoT and Big Data will become core technologies for the near future as they best perform when they are interconnected and deployed together. “5G will accelerate the adoption and connectivity of systems. Cheap data storage, improved computer power and advanced AI have indeed created the perfect storm for the rapid adoption of 5G connectivity across the world.”

These technologies greatly aid in efficiency while improving different areas of governance. “For example,” said Jorge, smart city programs and technologies improve security within a city thanks to cameras and biometric technology, a better use of resources in smarter city-wide street lights; gathering meaningful data, etc.” These projects also help the city’s business ecosystem, as companies are attracted to these programs.

Technology Adoption Worldwide

One of the downsides to this tech adoption frenzy is, as Dinis Guarda mentioned, the 2-speed technology adoption worldwide. “There is an ongoing effort to bring technology to everyone in the world but we need partnership, collaborations with governments, businesses, etc to really create cost-effective solutions that can be brought to everyone,” Jorge Sebastiao noted.

Cyber Security Risks and Solutions

As companies, governments and citizens go digital, cyber security risks increase. “And cybersecurity is like a double-edge sword, the more devices and systems we have connected, the greater the risks.” For Jorge Sebastiao, an experienced CTO who has worked for the likes of Huawei, technology has accelerated progress greatly but it has also brought about new threats. “With the advent of the internet and modern systems we use today, we have a whole array of vast servers and points and our job is to protect all of these points across the whole system.”

In that sense, new technologies like blockchain, AI and 5G can help put in place smarter and holistic security measures, added Jorge. 5G, for example, has a built-in security, while blockchain is secured per se. This distributed ledger is built and written bearing in mind the goal of  securely storing millions of data within its platform, leveraging a series of architecture tweaks for it. It is conceived, through its proof of work protocol, that every person part of the blockchain accounts for all the changes made in the chain, so all modifications have to be approved. Likewise, this system allows for a trustless principle where all transactions are anonymous, but they stay recorded in the chain and an ID will be stored. All of these measures go towards keeping the integrity of data.

However, the job is not done. “The problem is not what we know, but what we don’t.” And Jorge explains digital systems and security through the analogy of the car. “30 years ago we didn’t use the security belt and now we have many different security systems to keep us safe. That doesn’t mean that the accidents will suddenly stop. It only means that we are less likely to get injured.”

Smart Cities

In a Smart City context, as much as in any other organization, there should be a specific cyber security department to identify and keep all the technologies and processes safe. In these cities, a correct deployment of 5G, IoT and Big Data will make a huge difference in terms of cyber security but also improving the efficiency of systems and the collection and use of meaningful data.

Covid-19 Pandemic and Technology

Lastly, both experts went through the challenges of Covid-19 pandemic to the world economy and how technology can actually help fight the crisis back. “Technology is playing a key role in the coronavirus crisis, for example through people’s mobile phones. Governments can track people’s movement and enforce self-isolation more effectively. Another measure that some governments have started to use is tracking the spread of the pandemic. GPS tracking can help determine if positive cases have been in touch with one another.”

About Jorge Sebastiao

Jorge Sebastiao is a seasoned ICT Expert in areas of Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud Computing & managed services focused on business value. He brings experience, creativity, structure and innovation to the solutions he architects through ICT infrastructure.

With over 30 years of ICT experience, covering C level on Cloud Computing, AI, Blockchain, Cyber Security, Physical Security, Managed Services, managed security services, business continuity and disaster recovery, as well as governance, risk management, compliance, auditing, certification. Served sectors include aviation, transportation, oil & gas, banking, financial, telecom, government, defense, healthcare, and education. Jorge created the process A6 of security: Assess, Architect, Apply, Administer, Awareness & Agility. He architects practical & business focused Cloud and Security solutions using standards and industry best practices.

He has been the speaker at numerous international conferences with topics including: ICS Security, ICT Security, Business Continuity, ICT Architecture (TOGAF), Wireless Security, Regulatory Compliance, Physical Security, Biometrics and Smart Cards, Ethical Hacking, ISO27001, ISO27002 (ISMS), ISO2000 (ITIL), ISO13335 (Risk Management), ISO22301 (BCMS), CobIT, Basel II, EMV-2, PCI-compliance, SOX, Info warfare, Fraud, Identity Theft, SAP-Security, CISSP, Forensics & Incidence Response.