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In recent years, Mexico has been a major victim of cyberattacks. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), has just released a new analysis that shows Mexico is currently at 52 among 182 countries for cybersecurity level.
We are well behind our major regional partners, the United States and Canada. Brazil is also in our shadow. We rank below Brazil as the 7th and 12th most targeted countries in the world. Therefore, we need to work together globally,” says Alberto Friedman, an expert and member of the Mexican Association of Private Security Companies.
This crime is not a new issue, but it has skyrocketed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Fortinet, a cybersecurity firm, found that Latin America saw more than 41 million attempted cyberattacks in the year. 34% of these attacks were in Mexico.
According to the company, the virus made remote work possible and provided an avenue for hackers to access public agencies and companies. Mexico was hit with more than 800,000,000 cyberattacks in the first quarter alone.
“2020 was a year that showed criminals’ willingness to spend time and money on more profitable attacks such as ransomware, data hijacking. They are also adapting to remote work, with sophisticated methods to trick victims and gain access to corporate networks,” said Marcelo mayorga, Vice President Engineering of Fortinet Latin America and The Caribbean.
Likewise, an assessment carried out by Interpol on the impact of COVID-19 on cybercrime showed that these attacks went from being directed at individuals and small businesses, to large corporations and governments.
In this context, Oliver Gonzalez Barrales, Chief Commissioner for the National Guard, asserts that 8 out of 10 attacks can be avoided, however, most people don’t have the training to do it.
High-tech users are the ones that we can’t face. He says that although this is related to other cases and issues, the vast majority of Mexicans are fraudsters. They seek to hack the cybernetic systems of individuals, companies or businesses to commit fraud.
Remote work and online education became the main routes for hackers into companies because of the outbreak. Image by Max Bender via Unsplash
The main criminal targets can include members of government, as well as sectors like industry, finance, and healthcare. The economic losses from cyberattacks can also be huge, according to the Inter-American Development Bank, (IDB). They could result in GDP (gross domestic product) exceeding 1%.
This situation is alarming and it’s important to emphasize the importance of protecting data.
Mexican Post-pandemic Cybersecurity in Mexican Companies
The report by Oxford Business Group (OBG) on cybersecurity in Mexico after a pandemic, found that cyberattacks in Mexico accounted for 16.94% if the continent’s cybersecurity vulnerability.
Sophos, an international cybersecurity firm, has released a report about the state of ransomware in 2021. It indicated that cyber attacks cost Mexico on average 2.03 million dollars. It is a higher amount than what it costs for cyberattacks in other countries (which averages out at $ 1.85million per incident).
According to an Akamai survey, cyberattacks have been increasing at a rate of more than 78 000 per hour since 2021. The cyber attacks through the internet and via applications are still at high levels with little sign of slowing.
The National Guard and Mexican Association of Private Security Companies, (AMESP), collaborate to prevent and address cybersecurity issues in Mexico.
You need to coordinate, exchange information and have an international scheme that allows us to share our knowledge. It is possible to be proactive and preventive. It is necessary to exchange information. It is necessary to create statistics for each country and not allow “, emphasises Friedman.
It was presented a bill to the Senate in March 2021. The purpose of the bill is to create the cybersecurity law.
We must also understand the importance of cybersecurity policies to protect citizens’ rights in the digital realm. In the same manner, we need to encourage businesses in the country invest in cyber security to be prepared for any future cyber threats.
Cybersecurity can help reduce the impact of an attack and speed up recovery.
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