Colombia faces a multitude of information and network security challenges. High piracy rates, insufficient critical infrastructure, as well as a lack of technological savvy employees has made it difficult for Colombia to catch up to other Latin American countries in terms of infrastructure and information security.
Colombia’s high piracy rates and poor enforcement of intellectual property laws have landed it on the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 Report Watch List. While attempts to fight infringement and improved coordination among agencies have been noted, organizations find it difficult to operate in an economy where their information is unsafe.
There have been recent efforts to improve the current information technology situation:
- Government organizations like the Asociación Nacional de Empresarios de Colombia (ANDI) are focused on promoting technology sector jobs across key cities.
- The Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies’ Vive Digital program has a goal to increase Internet connectivity and triple the number of municipalities that are connected to the Internet through fiber-optic networks to 700 by 2014.
- Mobile phone subscribers also continue to increase by the hundreds of thousands every year.
However, even with this push in infrastructure, Colombia is still lagging behind neighbors like Brazil, Mexico and Chile.
Shortage of Tech Savvy Workforce
Most of Colombia’s technologically literate employees are concentrated in a handful of cities. While the pool is growing with 13,000 engineering graduates every year, the shortage is a serious detriment to growth.
While these problems are only a few of the challenges Colombia faces, we would like to provide some suggestions.
For a problem like piracy, Data loss prevention (DLP) and Database activity monitoring (DAM) provide controls to ensure sensitive data stays in the organization and doesn’t end up in the wrong hands, as well as protect databases from attacks.
Virtualization can address Colombia’s shortage of IT infrastructure. Virtualization of desktops, applications, and servers are beneficial for efficiency, consolidation, manageability, security, and reduced power consumption. McAfee’s solution, Management for Optimized Virtual Environments (MOVE), provides security in tandem with increased efficiency such as increased server density.
Colombia’s lack of IT workforce can be compensated with cloud services which can save time, effort and cost. McAfee offers Security-as-a-Service (Security Saas) across a number of areas including endpoint, email, web, and network; as a part of the McAfee Security Connected framework, McAfee Security SaaS leverages the power of the cloud to help organizations faster time-to-protection to secure their business.
A combination of products like McAfee DLP, DAM, and MOVE with McAfee Security SaaS solutions can help alleviate some of the major security issues facing organizations in Colombia. While McAfee offers a number of other solutions for other demands that Colombian organizations have, these controls demonstrate some of the essentials for an effective security strategy given Colombia’s unique challenges.