Martín Portillo
CISO
Huawei Technologies Mexico
/
Expert Contributor

Cybersecurity Means Joint Effort

By Martín Portillo | Wed, 11/17/2021 - 12:48

We have been bombarded recently with tons of seminars, workshops, events and forums about cybersecurity, with, of course, some additional flashy headlines and great efforts from authorities, regulators, specialized companies the list is endless. However, in my opinion, there is still a poor understanding of what cybersecurity is and most of all, what is really the name of the game.

There are three different angles from which we should attack and create acknowledgment of this so popular term.

  1. Researchers and product manufacturers
  2. Regulators and state/government officials
  3. Users (people, operators, big companies and SMEs)

According to IFETEL’s media report from Oct. 27, 2021, Mexico has 108.7 million mobile lines. In terms of fixed internet access, there are 24.6 million. One could immediately think that the big effort should be focused toward this massive internet access, either mobile or fixed. The truth of the matter is that the most efficient way to achieve an efficient use of our new technology when talking about cybersecurity is to focus our efforts and action items with regulators, state entities and various nonprofit associations. They are the only group of experts who can provide the rules, regulations, best practices and easiest way to find ourselves executing our digital transactions in a safe cyberspace.

I’ve always wondered how relevant it is for the regular user of a bank transaction (deposit) to understand, if not in detail, at least how a DDos attack works. Or to learn the growing list of malware that appears on a daily basis in the whole world. An analogy? Well, few users of cars really know even the meaning of ABS (for anti-lock braking system) or how it works. What we have is a well-known set of rules and regulations that prevent us from having serious accidents when driving.

In the same manner, we should focus on developing the basic rules and regulations that the general public should learn and apply during their daily use of technology. Do we have a rule or public recommendation that develops the habit of checking the password for our Wi-Fi modem at home? Do we even know if there is one for my modem? No kidding: just do some random inquiries.

So, the name of the game is full collaboration among the three parties mentioned above. It is not enough to have technology manufacturers opening their design secrets to make some segment of the industry happy  and it is not enough to provide thousands of seminars to people working on cybersecurity topics. It is my firm belief that only creating or defining basic rules of deployment and use of technology will lead to a safer cyberspace.

Let’s encourage our regulators, legislators and anybody involved in this area to provide clarity on the standards and best practices that every network should comply with and, of course, the rules of engagement for mass users of this marvelous new technology.

Photo by:   Martín Portillo