Nearshore Americas

Colombia Prepares New Cyber Security Strategy

The Colombian government is drawing up a new cyber defense strategy to deal with the growing rate of cyber attacks, as the Andean country continues to use information technology to overhaul its education and healthcare sectors.

Officials from Mintic, Colombia’s ICT Ministry, are meeting web technology experts from around the world and giving final touches to the legal draft.

According to a Mintic press release, experts from 10 countries, including Canada, Spain and the USA, are currently reviewing Colombia’s cyber defense systems.

Over the past few years, information technology has changed the way Colombia delivers public services, yet six million Colombians fall victim to cyber crime every year. There has been a rise in hacktivist attacks, which most frequently target state and military entities and financial institutions.

According to a report from anti-virus software maker Trend Micro, credit card fraud is the most prevalent type of cyber incident in the country. Two years ago, Colombia captured the region’s most notorious cyber criminal Jorge Maximilian “Pacho” Viola.  Dubbed as the “Tsar of Cloning,” Viola had committed fraud in at least seven Latin American countries and was accused of cloning over 8,000 credit cards.

Last year, the Andean country signed an agreement with US tech giant Microsoft to help combat cyber crime.

About 50% of adults worldwide are victims of cyber crime every year and the cost to the global economy of the crimes is up to $500 billion annually, says Microsoft, which has opened an anti-cyber crime office in Bogota.

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In 2011, Colombia became the first first Latin American country to unveil a national cyber defense strategy. Reports say levels of cyber crime are lower in Colombia and Chile than in other countries in the region.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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