Mexican Companies Remain Especially Vulnerable to CyberattacksBy Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Thu, 09/30/2021 - 14:36
In an inevitable cyber pandemic predicted to “spread faster and further than any biological virus,” according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Mexican companies remain especially vulnerable.
A cyber pandemic seems to be in the works, caused by the “self-propagating attack using one or more ‘zero-day’ exploits, techniques exploits, techniques for which patches and specific antivirus software signatures are not yet available,” details the WEF report. This previously rare form of attack is seemingly proliferating, doubling from the previous year reports MIT Technology Review.
Investment in cybersecurity must increase in order to minimize the economic impact of the looming cyber pandemic, says Israel Quiroz, General Director of digital security company IQSEC.
“Cybersecurity from the perspective of SMEs is commonly seen as an expense. But [in] reality, it has to be seen from [the] perspective of not los[ing],” said Quiroz. "This in terms of not losing productivity due to a collapse in systems and leakage of critical information, be it from employees, suppliers, customers and even industrial secrets."
Even through the pandemic pushed the Mexican business community to increase its investment in IT, it still remains low comparative to the detrimental impact these kinds of attacks can have on operations. According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the economic loss rooted from cyberattacks could exceed US$6 billion or one percent of the GDP.
Mexico, the 15th biggest economy in the world, has been continuously assaulted by cybercriminals hoping to exploit their lack of expertise and limited cybersecurity investment. An environment that encouraged hackers to attempt over 103 million attacks, an average of 5 attacks every second according to Kaspersky's annual Latin America Threat Panorama 2021 report.
Moreover, the pandemic has increased the adoption of digital technologies, adding vulnerabilities that have not been fully examined.
“If security risks due to the proliferation of ICT infrastructure and Internet applications are not adequately balanced with comprehensive national cybersecurity strategies and resilience plans, [Mexico and other] countries will not be able to achieve the economic growth and national security goals they pursue,” said Giacomo Persi-Paoli, Program Lead at UNIDIR.
Ultimately, as hackers continue to enhance their offensive capabilities, the likelihood of a global cyber pandemic becomes increasingly credible and should motivate companies and the federal government to close existing gaps; the alternative cost is just too great.