Cybersecurity, a public-private challenge to face in Panama

According to data from the Public Ministry, last year more than 5,300 complaints were made for virtual scams and crimes committed using technological means. Within this framework, the Metropolitan University of Science and Technology Education (UMECIT) has placed cybersecurity as a topic of regional interest and developed a forum with national and international experts with the aim of analyzing security in the current context. The main conclusion of the discussion is that cybersecurity is a challenge that must be faced from the public and private sectors together.

Under the name “The war that we do not notice: a look at the new panorama of risks, actors, crimes and regulations”, a panel of professionals discussed security in today’s world, which constantly and dizzyingly changes in terms of actors, attacks and regulations.

Dr. Julio Escobar, founder and president of Centauri Technologies Corporation, who has vast experience in technological development, strategic consulting, data security, project supervision, organizational and technological change, took part in the discussion; Dr. Arean Velasco, a lawyer with a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Law, an expert in personal data protection and technology contracting with more than 20 years of experience in computer law.

Also sharing the panel was Dr. Marlon Toro, a cybersecurity expert with a focus on threat research and profiling, founder of the Center for Cybersecurity and
Cybercrime Research (Center for CIC) at Boston University. The event was moderated by Magister Reinaldo Mayol, an expert in computer security in different countries of the region.

“Many of the attacks that occur in the cybernetic era are against private companies and therefore the need for the private sector and the State to defend themselves. The trend of increasing attacks that was taking place is magnified by the participation of actor states that need to obtain foreign currency to compensate for the unstable financial situation that exists in the world,” Escobar said.

The expert added that the attacks spread so fast that “if there is no collaboration to alert in time, the impact will be greater.”

For his part, Velazco analyzed the current legislation regarding cybercrimes and affirmed that the legal institutions are prepared to adapt to the current reality. Additionally, he added his position on the role of citizenship in the problem: “We must educate in all strata of society, remembering that the first line exposed to these crimes is us.”
Toro spoke about the profiles of cybercriminals, which must be reconsidered in the new dynamics of cyberspace and existing technological advances: “There is a divorce between the traditional and cybercrime, today we are protecting our society in a traditional way while cybercriminals are increasingly separating plus. There are new challenges and challenges and all the institutions that are part of a country must take care of society”.

With the support of the company Centauri, UMECIT will teach a Master’s Degree in Computer Cybersecurity, a program whose purpose is to provide the knowledge and tools so that professionals can implement actions in organizations that favor privacy and data protection, information security , and the implementation of mechanisms that can detect security flaws, with an effective response to deal with cyber attacks.

“The world has been changing vertiginously, both individuals and the productive sector and government, we are in a rapid process of digital transformation. Likewise, crimes in cyberspace are on the rise. Panama is one of the most exposed countries due to its economy and that means that issues that can help deal with these crimes are being taken up again. In this case, the university has prepared a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity, but we do not want it to be just another program, but rather the best in the region. We have been working and validating with experts so that it is of great contribution to the country and in a short time we will have technicians specialized in cybersecurity”, said the rector of UMECIT, José Alberto Nieto Rojas.

“We are all exposed and the important thing is to be able to establish cybersecurity measures to be able to operate. It is everyone’s responsibility to work with digital tools in a calmer way”, he added.

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