Cybersecurity is the biggest threat to Latin America’s digital transformation

Latin America is embracing digital transformation in both the public and private sectors as the way to stay competitive in the global economic market. But digital transformation is impossible without making cybersecurity a priority.

There are now nearly 20 billion attacks per day across the globe, according to Talos, Cisco's threat intelligence group. And disturbing trends highlighted in Cisco's 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report call for a newly trained workforce that understands how to defend against cyber criminals in a rapidly changing security landscape. Today, technology is a part of everything we do and the Internet of Things (IoT) is making life safer and easier for Latin American citizens. Cybersecurity, though, remains a top concern. The term ‘Malware' now makes the news on a regular basis and breaches are causing real economic damage to organizations. According to the 2018 Cybersecurity Report, more than half (53%) of all attacks in 2017 resulted in financial damages of more than $500,000, including, but not limited to, lost revenue, customers, opportunities, and out-of-pocket costs. From Panama City to Rio de Janeiro, cities all over Latin America are using IoT to improve the lives of its citizens. Sensors in Mexico now warn of gas leaks before they become dangerous. Smart technology is everywhere, enabling city organizations to proactively alert people about traffic conditions, inclement weather, and other hazards.

Latin America is particularly vulnerable to cyber attacks and many countries in our region simply lack the capacity to respond to major cyber incidents. There is a path forward though, and it is multi-faceted. Collaboration, technology, and training can all help Latin America become better prepared.