Ricardo López Tello
Corporate Sales and Government Director
Intel Mexico
Expert Contributor

Cybersecurity: Should Companies ponder the Risk of Doing Nothing?

By Ricardo López Tello | Tue, 03/30/2021 - 09:14

Just over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the world continues to face a complex and challenging landscape. We see it on the streets, and we hear it in the uncertainty that many businesses face as they look for ways to maintain their operations and remain relevant in the market.

These significant changes and disruptions that we have experienced have served as catalysts for the digital transformation in the operations of companies across all industries. At Intel, we believe that technology has proven to be critical to sustaining and increasing our productivity and unleashing innovation. We can say with certainty that, thanks to technology, in our daily lives we are intrinsically connected to each other and to the environment.

Given the importance and magnitude of our digital interactions, in the business environment it is essential to rethink and reinforce the security strategy for information management, which should always start from the PC. Today more than ever, cybersecurity is a critical factor, as the new normal requires managing an extensive flow of data and confidential information from home, something that probably in pre-pandemic times was almost unthinkable for many companies.

Despite the relevance of this topic, today many companies still wonder if the transformation in data protection should be considered an expense or an investment. For us, the answer is clear: it is an urgent investment, which, by the way, if not carried out will represent many more expenses in time and resources. From the short to the long term, the importance of maintaining a business policy of extreme protection for data and platforms will allow proper management, helping to close security gaps and solve the theft of information to which they may be exposed in a digital world.

Defending against growing cybersecurity threats requires a proactive and decentralized hardware-based approach. This trusted infrastructure lays the foundation for protecting all digital aspects, from the edge to the cloud through the network.

Software-only security is no longer enough, and implementing it from the ground up, at the silicon level, is critical. If our computer has a protection system from the beginning, it is highly probable that potential risks can be avoided.

The undeniable truth is that attacks against organizations, regardless of their business or industry, are rising at an unprecedented rate and are more sophisticated than ever, which is why chief information security officers (CISOs), chief information officers (CIOs), and other decision-makers need to take a new approach to enterprise security.

As part of the industry that has allowed this transformation, we at Intel are convinced that now, more than ever, the world depends on technology. We see this as an incredible opportunity for companies to prioritize security, starting from the hardware to better protect their devices, networks, and their cloud infrastructure.

In recent years, three factors have increased cyber risks for various sectors around the world. First, the attack surface continues to expand, which is partly due to the incipient number of IoT devices — estimated at 30.7 million in 2020. Second, cyber attackers are beginning to circumvent firewalls and security software that used to be effective. And third, fragmented cybersecurity solutions leave loopholes that make data vulnerable.

Mexico is not exempt from this situation. According to the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), in the first nine months of 2020, Mexico was the most affected country in Latin America, receiving 22.57 percent of 1,319,260 ransomware attacks (data hijacking to request rescue), to the detriment of 297,000 companies.

These figures alone are alarming, and they could increase considerably if the necessary precautions are not taken. Reinforcing what I mention above, the best cybersecurity strategy is a proactive approach, and it should encompass five key aspects: threat detection and intelligence, data and application security, access identity management, network security, and host and system security.

Hardware-enabled security functionalities play a critical role in defending business cybersecurity. You can invest in cutting-edge technology, but if you don't invest in cybersecurity at the same time, everything else is vulnerable.

Innovations from companies like Intel provide a foundation for digital transformation that enables cloud, data management, analytics, artificial intelligence, and much more. We have been in collaboration with the security industry and leading researchers to test our hardware-based technologies to take an integrated approach to developing solutions with other industry vendors, thus allowing data and devices to be protected from the endpoint, which can be a laptop, security camera, drone, or other equipment deployed in the field, to the network, the data center, and the cloud.

Moreover, Intel provides recommendations for the implementation of secured optimized architectures for your technology infrastructure. By offering this combination of technology and knowledge, we invite enterprises in all industries and government at all levels to make investing in hardware-enabled security features a priority. These are the cornerstone of reliable products and technologies, capable of keeping data safe against cyber attackers, enabling enterprises and governments to grow their operations reliably.

Photo by:   Ricardo López Tello
Ricardo López Tello Ricardo López Tello Corporate Sales and Government Director