Colombia’s most important industries could fall victim to cyber-attacks in the next ten years unless preventative measures are taken, according to specialty wire service, Colombia.Inn.
The wire service indicated that unless risk-management measures are effectively put into place, Colombia’s top industries, such as mining and oil, could potentially be victims of a dangerous cyber-attack within the next ten years.
In an interview with Colombia.Inn, Yesid Yermanos Aldana, president of the Colombian chapter of the International Society of Automation (ISA), stated, “Failure to take the necessary measures would pose the most danger to mining, electricity, oil, gas, and food and beverage sectors.”
“While Colombia is considered a medium-risk country for cyber-attacks, the economic growth it has achieved in recent years makes it an appealing target for individuals who commit such crimes,” Aldana continued.
The ISA, a US based non-profit organization, will host the “First Cybersecurity Forum for Industrial Environments,” in Bogota on April 25, to raise awareness about Colombia’s vulnerability to cyber crimes. Representatives of Colombia’s key business industries will be present, including the gas giants Ecopetrol, Pacific Rubiales, and Oleoducto de Llanos Orientales.
According to Aldana, a cyber-attack against such industries could cause, “an explosion or significant loss of property and human life, without anyone having to plant an explosive.”
Aldana’s statements come two weeks after the Organization of American States (OAS) announced that it will send a team of international experts to assist Colombia in a “mission” to improve cyber-security.
The “Technical Assistance Mission” is being sent at the request of President Juan Manuel Santos, and will involve representatives from over a dozen countries, including the US, UK, and Israel.
The OAS has been active in strengthening Colombia’s cyber security program. Under the organization’s guidance, Colombia has developed a “National Cyber Security and Cyber Defense Policy,” which led to the creation of the Colombian Cyber Emergency Response Group (colCERT), and the Cyber Police Center (CCP).
The institution also assisted in developing measures to protect the computer programs that control Colombia’s critical infrastructure, and have provided training to a large number of Colombian officials.
Under the auspices of the OAS’ Cyber Security Program, Colombia became the first Latin American country to develop a national cyber defense strategy.
Cyber-crime, stealing money or information via technology, has been on the rise in Colombia, costing the country $500 million in 2013, according to Colombian financial magazine Portofolio.
The increasing use of mobile phones and internet banking have seen rising opportunities for cyber-crime.
Colombia’s Cyber crime Police Center Colonel Bautista, told Portofolio that police had captured more than 343 Colombians cyber-criminals in 2013.
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