INTERVIEW: An NEC security expert told Mobile World Live Latin America faces many unique challenges in terms of cyber security, but explained people and awareness are as important as technology when addressing the issue.
Mauricio Vergara, cyber security specialist at NEC Colombia (pictured), commented device authentication is a major challenge amid the expansion of smart connectivity into devices including TVs and the emergence of IoT: “We have to be able to ensure that we are providing information to the correct devices.”
However, a shortage of people with the requisite cyber security expertise is hindering Latin America’s progress in preparing defences relative to other global regions: “We’ve seen a huge shortage of skills in the region,” Vergara said, noting research showed 63 per cent of organisations in the area encounter difficulties hiring suitably qualified staff.
Vergara believes salaries must be improved to fill the skills gap: “in the US, in Europe, things are different”.
End users must also be considered. Vergara estimated up to a million people fall victim to cybercrime each day and called for a coordinated approach from governments, academia and the private sector in developing “programmes to alert the people of the risks that they are exposed to”.
Such coordination is also necessary to improve cyber security at national and regional levels, Vergara argued. While acknowledging it is not easy for governments to share information, countries in the region must work together to ensure they are “more prepared” for attacks.
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