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Latin America and other emerging markets are most vulnerable to hacks and breaches because they play catch-up in cybersecurity.
FREMONT, CA: There are only two types of companies in the digital age: startups and established corporations—those who have been compromised and those who will be compromised.
Emerging Latin America and elsewhere countries are the most susceptible to cyberattacks and breaches because they play catch-up in essential cybersecurity. Currently, Latin America lacks the solid cybersecurity foundation required to safeguard the future of its businesses.
Simultaneously, Latin America is becoming an even more desirable place for hackers as an unprecedented amount of money is invested in its businesses. According to Crunchbase data, local entrepreneurs raised a record $9.6 billion in the first half of 2021, and SoftBank has just unveiled a new multibillion-dollar fund for the region.
To assure the longevity of the next generation of enterprises, Latin America must immediately develop superior cybersecurity solutions. Moreover, we are looking at an enormous opportunity in the making.
Latin America has the unique opportunity to establish a more robust cybersecurity infrastructure from the ground up, harnessing the promise of today's cutting-edge technologies in a way that developed countries cannot. Moreover, it may export these solutions over the globe.
Emerging markets could drive development: Businesses in developed markets rely on preexisting cybersecurity mechanisms that fraudsters are already familiar with when strengthening their digital defenses. Or, companies must develop a new cybersecurity infrastructure around existing products while maintaining the functionality of those products. That is equivalent to having an old house with a crumbling foundation and attempting to replace the foundation while leaving the rest of the house intact.
There are significant risks associated with installing cybersecurity safeguards retroactively. For SMBs, this means making an effort to integrate better solutions into their e-commerce website; for banks, it means rethinking their defenses without jeopardizing the millions of customers' assets.
Emerging economies can bypass archaic cybertechnologies and advance directly to more impenetrable and scalable versions of cybercrime technology in the future.
Latin America is prepared for success in space: Resilience contributes significantly to Latin America's economic development. Startups in emerging markets are subjected to many more pressures—finance, government, and socioeconomics—so they must innovate while building sustainably from day one.
What does this entail for the region's cybersecurity? The tenacity of Latin America's technological ability will be pushed to the forefront of a surge of innovations when combined with the urgency of cybercrime. In emerging economies, the cybersecurity business is expanding to the point where it is luring investments away from Silicon Valley. And the pot continues to grow: venture capital spending in cybersecurity reached an astounding $9 billion in the first half of 2021, which is more than 2020.
Already, Latin American businesses are striking new ground. The LACChain alliance, which focuses on ecosystems in Latin America and the Caribbean, seeks to better incorporate blockchain technology into organizations and nations and is working toward a blockchain-based sovereign ID. With the consumer app MODO, which combines the transactions of the country's central banks on a single platform, Argentina has been progressing toward the sovereign ID concept.
Government and private firms must work together: As entrepreneurs seek answers, governments must aid in developing an ecosystem that encourages emerging businesses to venture beyond existing infrastructural restrictions and into uncharted terrain.
Government entities can provide financing options, such as helping local investment funds, luring overseas venture capitalists through conferences, incentives, and awareness campaigns, and highlighting today's most prominent digital companies to foster tomorrow.
Moreover, governments must promote improved IT security education among young people. Neither can nations neglect to update their privacy, user consent, and right to be forgotten legislation. It's not only about bringing them up to date—data Argentina's protection law is 20 years old—also; it's about unifying regulations across countries so that future life-changing technologies can be genuinely borderless.
Lastly, private companies must engage in an ongoing discussion with governments regarding cybersecurity and technological advancement, providing constant input and serving as a source of current information on trends that will assist the government in regulating and enabling the digital sphere.
Cybersecurity is one of the most critical requirements of today. But it is also a source of opportunity in an area with the talent, ambition, and capacity to build a significantly more contemporary and impregnable security infrastructure from scratch.