The theft of private personal data of millions of internet users and a series of cyber attacks orchestrated to access corporate secrets, governments, and classified infrastructure systems were clear signs of a cyber security crisis in 2018 , according to the American software company Symantec .
In their annual report, the firm pointed out that, in regard to social media, hackers were able to steal information on around 30 million Facebook users and many other organizations suffered significant attacks on their systems last year.
In terms of cyber security, Mexico is no exception. According to Eduardo Rico, engineering director of Symantec , the country’s government and private institutions have failed to take adequate steps to prevent cyber attacks.
“From out point of view, not enough is being done on the part of all players involved to prevent this. We usually think in terms of post-conflict prevention, meaning that it is not until after the attack that we worry about what we should do. In Mexico, we have yet to determine the impact and risks of information loss ,” commented Rico during the presentation of Symantec’s predictions on cyber security in 2019.
The company from California assured that, with the arrival of the Mexican administration led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador , the way in which the federal government will address the issue of cyber security is still unclear. Rico considered that technology development was not a priority for the new government.
“The new government will have to maintain continuity in terms of cyber security, which has become a critical issue since an attack such as this could potentially paralyze government institutions ,” said Adriana García, CEO of Symantec Mexico .
She added that, unlike the rest of the world, Mexico still hasn’t implemented adequate security models to avoid risks for citizens and institutions.
“If we choose to do nothing, we could fall victim to more attacks, making it harder and more expensive for us to exert damage control,” she warned.
In this sense, Symantec considers it likely that cyber attacks such as the ones that were perpetrated against banking institutions like Banxico last year will keep happening, since hackers keep targeting private institutions both in Mexico and at a global scale.
Consequently, the firm stated that 2019 will be a crucial year for Mexico to take preventive measures and avoid leaks in their networks , thus reducing the financial impact of information loss.
Furthermore, Symantec recommended an increase in investment on cyber security: “Companies usually limit their cyber security investment to 5% or 6% of their revenue, which is a small amount compared with the impact that these attacks have on their operations,” concluded Rico.