Monday, May 29, 2023
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María Rodríguez

​Cybersecurity could be good business for Spanish companies in Latin America


The director of the OAS Cyber Security Programme, Belisario Contreras, pointed out that "Latin America has much to learn from Spain and Europe" in this matter and invites technology companies to take advantage of the cybersecurity business in this region.

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Belisario Contreras (OAS) invites us to regard the business of cybersecurity as an opportunity. Latin America is highly vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to a 2016 report carried out by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS). However, Belisario Contreras, manager of the OAS Cybersecurity Programme, has a new reading of the failures and gaps in information security in the region. "Spain has a great opportunities in Latin America. There are lines of business that Spanish companies have already established. So we invite you to regard the cybersecurity business as an opportunity", he said at a conference at the Casa de América in Madrid on the cyber security situation on both sides of the Atlantic.

"The region has much to learn from Spain and Europe. Cybersecurity is a multinational issue and the answers cannot be isolated".

Contreras said this in a debate in which Alberto Hernández, general director of the National Institute of Cybersecurity of Spain (INCIBE), Luis Jiménez, General Deputy Director General of the Spanish National Cryptology Centre (CCN) and Miguel Sánchez, Telefónica global director of Security, were also present.

In the same vein as Contreras, Hernández insisted that collaborating at international level should be a priority. In this regard, the director general of INCIBE recalled that in 2015 Spain signed a collaboration agreement with the OAS with the aim of working together to improve cybersecurity and the fight against terrorism in all its dimensions. Linked to this need to pull together, Hernandez said that there is a training programme in cybersecurity is currently taking place in the city of Leon (Spain) (where INCIBE is located), which is attended by more than 300 people from 30 countries.

As a prelude to the debate, Claudia Paz, the Secretary for Multidimensional Security of the OAS, explained that, in la Casa de América (House of America), the greatest challenges and deficits in Latin America and the Caribbean, detailed in the last report on cyber security of the IDB and the OAS: 

"Gaps in the protection of critical infrastructures; absence of national cybersecurity strategies, command and control centres, and the absence of education and awareness programmes in this area".

He added one more fact: "of the 32 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, only six have national strategies".

The CCN deputy director used the discussion to clarify the necessary conditions for cyberattacks to be perpetrated. The first is that the computer system of the device in question with Internet access (mobile phone, computer...) has a vulnerability. The second is that someone is able to take advantage of this vulnerability, either through creating a programme, or by other access routes. The third condition is that the cybercriminals place the programme created on the device in question.

To prevent this potential cyberattack, Jiménez mentioned several security policies, such as requiring of companies "that the technology that comes on the market does not have vulnerabilities", make users (private individuals, public administrations or private companies) aware of cyber risks and increase the monitoring capacity of computer systems to prevent and/or minimize impacts.



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