Information Security Within Emerging Markets: Mexico

As the world’s 13th largest economy, Mexico’s infrastructure is growing in a number of key industries including finance, manufacturing, and telecommunication as well as emerging industries like solar, biotech and aerospace. The Mexican government under President Felipe Calderon has specifically been targeting transportation, telecommunication and energy as key areas where modernization and IT investment are needed. And as with many emerging economies, rapid modernization has resulted in a number of related cyber security issues.

Aside from traditional security challenges such as fraud, malware, phishing and achieving compliance with regulatory mandates, Mexico suffers from a high degree of intellectual property theft. Nevertheless, sometimes challenges lead to the best innovation. Historic difficulties during the early days of Mexico’s financial industry resulted in some of the most regulated financial services in the world. For example, the Electronic Billing Regulation of 2009, and the Data Protection Law of 2010 are a product of Mexico’s continuing shift to a more aggressive approach to encourage a stable cyber climate.

As Mexico takes the necessary steps to bring its infrastructure up to par, stronger controls are needed to protect intellectual property. Everything is moving online, which improves efficiency but also leaves sensitive data more vulnerable to attack. From an organizational perspective, this means a more challenging environment where modernization and growth must be balanced with security and compliance to avoid the economic penalties of a breach.

This is where the McAfee comes in – offering an integrated strategy, Security Connected, which allows organizations to approach security from a more strategic position. There are a number of products and solutions that are relevant to Mexico, and below we’ll highlight three key solutions aimed at some of the country’s most pressing cyber security issues.

Data loss prevention (DLP): Data protection is a primary concern in Mexico, where emerging industries like biotech and aerospace rely heavily on intellectual property. McAfee DLP provides controls at a network and endpoint layer to ensure that sensitive data doesn’t accidentally or intentionally leak out of an organization.

Database activity monitoring (DAM): DAM provides specific controls for structured data – i.e. databases. McAfee’s DAM solutions provide mechanisms to discover databases, scan for database vulnerabilities, virtually patch those vulnerabilities, protect from database attacks, and provide full audit capabilities illustrating who is interacting with that database – including regular and privileged users such as DBAs.

Dynamic Whitelisting: For Mexico’s critical industries such as power, energy, and petro chemical, modernization can provide many benefits by digitizing previously analog controls. However, availability and to a smaller extent integrity must be maintained at all costs, and traditional security controls for confidentiality don’t necessarily help. To combat this, McAfee offers dynamic whitelisting, which employs a strategy of only allowing known good activities. Because updates are less frequent and network connectivity isn’t a requirement, security is achieved without negatively impacting system operations.

For more information on security for emerging markets, look out here in the blog for our next series installment, and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @IntelSec_Biz.

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