Cybersecurity and ICT Infrastructure in Latin America and Caribbean Region
By admin March 16, 2016



A recent publication by Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has analyzed and scrutinized the status of ICT and cybersecurity in 32 participating countries across the Latin America & Caribbean region. According to the report, despite governments’ different attitudes towards ICT and cybersecurity there are seven major trends and patterns that can be observed in this region.


Across the region, governments have realized the importance of affordable and secure access to information as a platform for business innovation and growth in medium- and long-term periods. However, the internet penetration rate, which is the percentage of population with an access to internet, remains less than 50% on average. To make a commitment to secure cyber infrastructure, each country should have a comprehensive and clearly articulated strategy towards cybersecurity. In the region, however, only six countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uruguay have national cybersecurity strategies. Twelve other countries are in the process of articulating and making such documents available.


A major roadblock in reaching a clear strategy seems to be a lack of awareness and vision of possible threats and vulnerabilities that increasing connectivity would bring to these countries. The report states that increasing awareness can lead to appropriate actions in the region regarding cybersecurity. Campaigns such as ‘Information Security Begins with You’ in Venezuela, or the international campaign ‘Stop. Think. Connect.’ are important since they create demands for more clear actions and solutions in developing cybersecurity plans and strategies. Trusted connections between public and private sectors and formal information sharing mechanisms makes any harmonized action in securing the ICT infrastructure more challenging. Additionally, crisis response and reporting mechanisms exacerbates the countries’ readiness to address potential security threats very difficult. Only half of the countries in the region have established and operationalized Computer Security Incident Response Teams or other type of security response teams.


Any comprehensive cybersecurity strategy should be supported by a legal framework regarding cyber crimes. Of 32 countries studied in the report, only 2, the Dominican Republic and Panama, have joined the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. In most of the countries, if the crime is reported, there are no sufficient legal mechanisms to deal with investigation process or prosecution. Moreover, there is a lack of capacity to handle electronic evidence or enforce existing laws on cyber crime. For Latin American countries, report claims, the Budapest Convention on cybercrime can play as a checklist for the development of domestic substantive and procedural law on cyber crime and electronic evidence. There are plenty of examples on how this Convention can help to achieve this goal. Argentina, for instance, brought substantive criminal law in line with the convention in 2008. Colombia amended the criminal code in 2009 to be more in line with the convention. Panama and Dominican Republic, as mentioned earlier, joined the convention and transferred the provisions into domestic laws. In recent years, we see an accelerating trend in the region to pass policies that both expand the ICT infrastructure as well as the security and legal frameworks to deal with the emerging threats or dangers with more connectivity. Although the report shows an underwhelming move towards this goal, the increasing awareness signals a hopeful future for the region.


For more information:

IDB and OAS urge Latin America and the Caribbean to strengthen cybersecurity

Cybersecurity: Are We Ready in Latin America and the Caribbean?

Cybersecurity in Latin America

Cybercrime and cybersecurity spending are on the rise in a maturing Latin American region



Thanks for sharing !

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