Saturday, September 30, 2023

Deficiencies challenge cybersecurity in Latin America

The growth of cyberattacks has sparked increased interest in cybersecurity throughout the region. Google data shows that only the word cybersecurity maintained 100% interest in Costa Rica in the last year. Likewise, it was above 50% in Panama and Chile, and almost the same in the Dominican Republic.

This is a pace that is even seen globally. In the United States, the term cybersecurity had a search popularity of 50% in the last 12 months. “It is an issue that continually gains relevance at all levels and sectors,” he told the money ESET Latin America computer security specialist, Miguel Ángel Mendoza.

In this sense, he explained that Latin America “is not the exception.” In fact, he highlighted that there is greater interest from governments, companies and users, “who are increasingly concerned and concerned about their digital security.”


However, this interest is slowed down by the multiple challenges in cybersecurity, according to the specialist. Those challenges range from the acquisition of protection technologies; creation of laws on cybersecurity that standardize protection efforts and standards, to initiatives for cooperation and collaboration between governments and organizations.

He also added the lack of institutions in charge of cyber security in the countries, as well as education and awareness campaigns, among others.

“One of the main deficiencies is related to the resources allocated for these purposes,” he said. That is, the lack of money, and even of trained personnel.

However, although it clarifies that different countries meet some of these conditions, it is a reality that technologies and threats not only change, but also advance rapidly, which is why they must be constantly updated.

This is how the efforts for the protection of cyberspace are increasing and must be better. However, it is a problem that he classified as complex, in which various actors are involved.

Countries like Honduras or Peru, according to the National Cyber ​​Security Index (NCSI), do not have a central government entity with a specialized official or unit responsible for the development of the national cyber security policy.

There are multiple reasons for countries to have, or not, government policies on cybersecurity.

“In general, there is progress in terms of cybersecurity strategies, awareness campaigns or the promulgation of personal data protection laws, but some deficiencies are identified in issues such as the training of professionals in the field or the protection of critical infrastructures” , holds.

For example, the Dominican Republic, despite having the highest rate in terms of cybersecurity in the region, does not include basic education curricula that include competencies in information or cybersecurity, like Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador and neighboring countries.

Another way to measure the development of countries in technological terms is through the Global Cybersecurity Index (ICG), which analyzes legal, technical, organizational, capacity development and cooperation aspects.


Despite the efforts of governments, it is the case that cyber security is partial. Mendoza points out that there are always risks that, although they may be minimal, lead to incidents. In this sense, unfortunately you have a disadvantage against attackers.

“Malicious actors have sufficient time, resources, and motivation to achieve their offensive objectives, which, together with vulnerabilities in organizations’ infrastructure, weaknesses, deficiencies, oversights, or negligence, form a dangerous cocktail,” he says.

In the case of attackers, he explains that a “loophole” is enough to cause damage, while for security teams it is necessary to protect all elements of the technological infrastructure.


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