In times of cyberattacks, digital and automated systems seek protection
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology, digitization, as well as the automation of processes and tasks within the different business, industrial, and service sectors. Years later, cybercrime alerts continue to be generated, which, according to data, increased 600% during this health emergency.
According to the technology company IBM, in an interview with Infobae, in 2022 the average cost of a data breach for a company was 2.09 million dollars, which represents an increase of 15% when compared to that registered in the year 2021. However, this is not the only variation that is registered. In the report “Perspectivas de Latinoamérica” prepared by the company, it was indicated that 60% of the companies increased the price of their services after a data leak.
According to other data, the Latin American and Caribbean region suffered 137 billion attempted cyberattacks from January to June 2022, an increase compared to the same period last year. In addition to the extremely high numbers, the data reveals an increase in the use of more sophisticated and targeted strategies, such as ransomware. During the first six months of 2022, approximately 384,000 ransomware distribution attempts were detected worldwide. Of these, 52 thousand were destined for Latin America.
It is estimated that in 2021 there were 289 billion cyber threats that affected Latin America, which means that each of the 667 million inhabitants has been subjected to an average of 433 attacks in the year (more than one a day).
In 2022, the Dominican Republic recorded a monthly average of 30,000 cyberattack attempts. A year earlier, 2.2 billion attempts were reported, according to Fortinet. The National Cybersecurity Center, for its part, indicated that in 2021, 177 attacks were attended through the National Cyber Incident Response Team (CSIRT-RD). In the first 10 months of 2022, that number increased to 267 cases.
“These cyber attackers take advantage of the vulnerabilities of the systems and often not only affect data centers or information bases, but also any system or equipment connected to an Internet connection network or cloud” commented Jean Maluf, manager for DR of Schneider Electric.
Cybercrime is constantly evolving, attackers are attentive to the latest trends and technologies to hook the largest number of victims with attacks that often involve various actions and seek at least one to succeed. In addition, they have gone from being basic and massive to more complex and selective, which shows that cybercriminals are fine-tuning their tactics and procedures to be more efficient with their objective. “In the last two years, companies in all sectors have migrated many of their processes, equipment, machinery and maintenance controls to intelligent systems connected to the Internet of Things, to cloud networks, interconnecting and digitizing. However, when doing this migration you have to take into account strong security parameters and systems to prevent an attacker from taking advantage of these multi-channel platforms,” said Maluf.
Sectors at risk
In 2022 for the first time, a group called Conti managed to paralyze the financial operations of an entire country: Costa Rica; even leading him to declare a national emergency. At first it involved financial operations, but the attacks quickly spread, as at the end of May the group repeated and this time attacked the social security box through the Hive ransomware. The estimated cost of this crisis is estimated at $38 million per day.
Healthcare providers and hospitals have long been a prime target: in January 2022, the International Red Cross fell victim to a cyberattack in which 500,000 people receiving Movement services were affected. Whilen France, on August 22, 2022, the Corbeil-Essonnes hospital saw a part of its hacked data on the darknet and the Consorci Sanitari Integral (CSI), which includes several health centers in Barcelona, was hit by a cyber attack on October 2022.
“It is important to take into account that the systems of, for example, a bank, are not the same as those of a hospital, in which the monitoring of equipment becomes lighter and, therefore, an opportunity for the attacker, that it will not go after the equipment, but rather the software that controls it. By having access to a shared network, you can enter through this software and reach databases or sensitive information, as well as control the operation of the equipment and even interrupt its operations” explained Jean Maluf.
For this, Schneider Electric, a leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has various solutions through EcoStruxure, which offers end-to-end protection through monitoring and protection of equipment and systems connected to this regardless of your software.
EcoStruxure is Schneider Electric’s open, interoperable, and Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled architecture and systems platform. It leverages advances in the areas of the Internet of Things, mobility, sensing, cloud environments, analytics, and cybersecurity to deliver innovation at every level. The architecture includes connected products and control at the edge of the network, as well as applications, analysis tools and services. EcoStruxure has been deployed in more than 450,000 stores, with the support of 9,000 system integrators, and connects more than a billion devices.
“EcoStruxure IT has full control of the operation of the company, plant or factory, if there is a piece of equipment with vulnerability, the same platform detects it and can turn it off to avoid a risk, for example. It not only protects at the software level, but also those processes that have electromechanical components or systems where the platform is interconnected and intelligently conducting constant monitoring to avoid a risk to the company’s operation,” the executive concluded.
As part of Schneider Electric’s cybersecurity strategy for all companies, the following must be taken into account:
- Identification of business risks related to Cybersecurity based on a potential impact assessment. This includes an assessment of potential vulnerabilities and attack vectors and definition of a remediation approach (which can encompass technologies, processes, and people) for identified critical business risks.
- Implement targeted and differentiated protection for the most sensitive corporate assets by ensuring the right organization, technology and people are in place to avoid any lasting impact on business continuity or quality of service provided to customers.
- Implementation of internal Cybersecurity capabilities to mitigate the identified vulnerabilities.
- Implementation of frequent third-party security assessments and qualifications. Additional internal vulnerability assessments and drills are also conducted, especially for the most critical sites (ie, global supply chain and research and development).