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More than half of businesses in Latin America are attacked by cybercriminals

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Increasingly, companies are digitizing and in the process transforming the way they operate and relate to the world. At the global level, between 2019 and 2020 there was an increase in the digitization rate of 18%, according to the McKinsey & Company report.

Ecuador on the list: cyberattacks in Latin America have increased by 24% this year

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The reason? More people are looking for technology to advance their business through digital transformation, but that also requires implementing cybersecurity strategies to protect against risks and threats. And rely more and more on artificial intelligence (AI).

Studies determine that those companies that invest 6% of their income in technology platforms by 2023 will obtain almost a 12% return on that investment. Leading companies today are seeking technologies and consulting that enable them to predict, automate, secure, modernize and transform their businesses through hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence.

IBM is at the forefront. In a press-tour, held on September 19 and 20, 2022, this company opened its doors in Boston, United States, to show its specialty, its services and where it is projected in terms of cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, and what the world needs in the technological age. To do this, it implemented laboratories and control centers to mitigate cyberattacks.

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That company maintains that there is a huge untapped resource with a focus on datafabric, where companies can gather data from anywhere in the world and apply AI to power predictive decision-making and real-time digital intelligence; all this, while maintaining data control, ensuring privacy and building trust at the organization level. The strategy is to mitigate risks, increase revenue and improve results.

This company maintains a broad portfolio of security services and consulting that allows the client to quantify and understand risks, detect and respond to threats. Now, it points to an accelerated transformation of technologies.

Cybersecurity in Latin America

Gabriel Catropa, head of IBM Security in Latin America, warns about the cyberattacks that have been reported in the region and points out the path that companies must follow. Photo: Vicente Ordonez

Gabriel Catropa, head of IBM Security in Latin Americawarns that in the last twelve months, 51% of organizations surveyed suffered cyberattacks and reported a data breach that involved the loss or theft of more than 1,000 records with confidential or sensitive customer or business information.

The study conducted by the IBM Security & Ponemon Institute also found that 74% of attacked organizations did not have a cybersecurity incident response plan, that only 21% of companies were mature and had a plan. Countries like Brazil, Mexico and Peru were more attacked.

Latin America is the fifth region in the world most attacked by cybercriminals, and for many years, the financial industry was the one desired by hackers.

But in 2021, manufacturing became the most attacked, followed by the wholesale and retail sector, and in third place, the financial and insurance sector. The reason for this change is the lack of adequate security against attacks via artificial intelligence, password crackers powered by neural networks. In short, they did not implement a Zero Trust security model, which leads to not trusting any internal or external entity that enters their perimeter.

It takes less than 60 seconds for a cybercriminal to crack a key, so companies need to work on the offensive.

One of the things that Catropa also highlights is that consumers end up paying the price of the leak, because companies increase the cost of their products or services, and that increase meant $2.09 million at the Latin American level at the time.

The main types of cyber attacks that were registered in the region during 2021 are: ransomware in 29%; 21% were BEC (compromise of emails business); 21% of attacks were for credential theft; and the phishing was the most common infection vector used in Latin America, accounting for 47% of attacks.

In the face of a cybersecurity incident involving its clients, IBM activates. In the quoted press-tour you lived through that experience, the pressure of a data breach in real life; the way in which they affect blackmail and threaten cybercriminals. The experts must react immediately, there is no time to waste, they define the strategy in all areas: communication, legal, negotiation, and the main objective is to block the leak and kick out the intruder.


Globally, one in four companies in finance, health, food, transportation suffered a destructive attack, yet 80% did not implement a Zero Trust security model and experienced a 24% increase in their service costs. data leak. Those who deployed automation and AI in security achieved savings of 65.2%.

Catropa says that it is important for companies to measure risk-benefit and the challenge is to look at the data, trust in the Zero Trust model and constant monitoring with AI, invest in innovation to avoid threats, that is the rule.

But companies have to define what to protect, that is, which are the “crown jewels” that need the most protection, says Catropa, because not everything can be protected, but it is possible to determine the most sensitive and provide confidence and security to customers. .

In the case of the public sector, there should be a classification of the information that needs greater protection; There are currently many public services that citizens have access to and it is through this route that cybercriminals enter data theft.

Faced with this, the IBM expert recommends generating private keys, passwords, accesses and secure applications. Governments must classify the personal information of service users, to prevent access and compromise security. There are no secure passwords, but it is possible to carry out at least one double and multi-authentication to access, which reduces the risk.

In the case of Ecuador, there are no statistics that determine percentages of leaks and attacks, that does not mean that cybercriminals do not operate in the country.


Every time we place orders using apps or websites we leave our digital footprint, increasing the arsenal available to attackers to spread cyber-attacks across industries from ransomware even data theft.

According to studies monitored by IBM, during the COVID-19 pandemic, global consumers created around fifteen new online accounts and more than 82% reuse the same passwords or credentials from other accounts. Young users are the most likely to reuse the same key, and that same group of people prefers to order digitally rather than go to the location or make a phone call.

Another fact that increases vulnerability in digital security is the configuration of new passwords, because according to surveys, most adults expect to spend less than five minutes to configure a new digital account, which complicates security.

While password reuse is a growing problem, adding an additional verification factor for higher-risk transactions can help reduce the risk of account compromise. Latin America will continue to be the fifth region in the world most attacked by cybercriminals if action is not taken in time. (YO)

Source: Eluniverso

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