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    Cybercriminals Are Using Artificial Intelligence to Attack Costa Rican Companies

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    Cybercriminals are using artificial intelligence to attack companies and public institutions, but organizations are using techniques from the past to defend themselves.

     This is how forceful the Fortinet Director of Information Security for Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada, Jaime Chanagá, explained it at the International Cybersecurity Seminar.

    Responding successfully

     During a full day at the Seminar organized by ComDigital and Innovatec, experts from Europe, South Korea, Israel, the United States, Mexico and Costa Rica helped companies, institutions and local governments this October 24 in San José to prepare accordingly effectively and respond successfully to possible cyber attacks.

     “Cybersecurity has to be agile, it must incorporate artificial intelligence.  We need to use the new technologies that adversaries are already using,” said Chanagá, who also stated that only one percent of organizations in Latin America have an Information Security Directorate.

    Ransomware on the rise

     One of the worrying aspects is that from last year to this year, ransomware has grown by 13% worldwide and variants have increased by 175% in the last year.Chanagá drew attention that in Costa Rica and the rest of Latin America, the number one complaint of business leaders in Latin America is that they do not have time to develop 2 or 3-year strategic cybersecurity plans.The expert recommended that it is very important for young people to study careers related to technology and cybersecurity to confront these global risks.

     Today, more than 3.5 billion people are connected globally, and the digital world stores approximately 44 zettabytes of data, largely thanks to cloud computing, which offers virtually unlimited storage capacity.  However, it is important to highlight that one of the most significant risks in this digital environment is the potential impact of a cyber attack.

    Cyberattacks are not a new phenomenon, but their scale and sophistication have increased dramatically in recent years.  From the theft of personal and financial data to ransomware that paralyzes entire companies, cyber threats are diverse and constantly evolving.  The reality is that anyone can be a victim of a cyber attack at any time.

    During the event, which took place at the Crown Plaza Corobicí Hotel, the best practices of the Korean and Romanian Governance system and the experiences of local governments in Israel were shared.  Likewise, lessons learned from cyberattacks in Costa Rica were analyzed, with the participation of specialists from the Tecnológico de Costa Rica and INCAE.

     The World Economic Forum has identified cyberattacks as one of the top 10 threats to countries’ economies.  Furthermore, according to the 2020 Global Cybersecurity Index, a cyber attack occurs every second, but on average, hackers work in the institution or company for six months before being discovered.  It is estimated that global losses due to cybercrime range between 1 trillion dollars in 2020 and 6 trillion in 2021, however, the costs of cyberattacks go beyond the financial, we must consider the emotional and psychological impact of being a victim. of a cyber attack.  The loss of privacy, the feeling of vulnerability and the interruption of our daily lives are real consequences of the lack of cybersecurity

    Significant increase in the sophistication

     According to the Global Threat Landscape Report for the first half of 2023 prepared by the FORTINET firm, “there is a significant increase in the sophistication of malicious actors, especially evident in the cybersecurity domain, where threats have escalated in frequency and complexity.  “This is characterized by an increase in highly targeted attacks across multiple sectors, including intricate ransomware campaigns, substantial data breaches, and a notable shift in tactics.”This report indicates the identification, during the first half of this year, of activity in 41 groups of the 138 advanced persistent threat groups that are recognized.

     For the technology specialist, Alicia Avendaño, “training and having a cyber resilience strategy is essential to protect the information of companies and institutions and avoid the theft of information, suffer fraud, economic losses and protect the potential damage of the institutional and business reputation.”

     When the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) expire in 2030, 90% of the projected global population, or 7.5 billion people, are expected to be online, with an estimated number between 24,100 and 125 billion IoT (Internet of Things) devices connected.  So that efforts dedicated to the SDGs do not decline, cybersecurity will be essential, as it will ensure that digital solutions are safe, reliable and trustworthy.

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