Caribbean Highly Vulnerable To Potentially Devastating Cyber-Attacks

Caribbean News Service (CNS).  

WASHINGTON, Mar 14 2016 – Leaders of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization of American States (OAS) today called on the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to step up their efforts on cyber security following the release of a new study, carried out by the two institutions with the support of Oxford University. The report shows the region is highly vulnerable to potentially devastating cyber-attacks.

The 2016 Cyber security Report, Are we ready in Latin America and the Caribbean? says that four out of every five countries in the region do not have a cyber security strategy or plans for protecting critical infrastructure. Two out of three countries do not have a command and control center for cyber security. And a large majority of prosecutors lack the capacity to punish cyber crimes.

The report analyzes the state of preparedness of 32 countries based on 49 indicators. It is the first significant examination of the level of preparedness in Latin America and the Caribbean against the growing threat of cyber crime.

Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago have achieved an intermediate level of preparedness, but lag advanced countries like the United States, Israel, Estonia and the Republic of Korea.

“This report is a call to action to protect our citizen and our critical infrastructure for the 21st Century,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “Our region arrived late to the Industrial Revolution. We cannot miss the opportunity provided by the Digital Revolution. Because of this, cyber security must be a priority.”

The risks of abuse increase as Latin America and the Caribbean join the digital revolution. The region is the fourth largest mobile market in the world. Half its population uses the Internet. There are countries in Latin America that process 100 percent of their government purchases electronically.

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