Friday, July 11, 2014

Soccer and cyber security champions

Holland, Brazil, Argentina and Germany. Those are the four most successful countries in this World Cup. Whatever the results are for the next matches, they are at the top four. We take advantage of their popularity in soccer to approach their cybersecurity environment. Are countries also champions behind the screens as they are in the field?

Let's start with Holland. The country of tulips is an good example in terms of industrial cybersecurity. At least that is what Auke Huistra, project manager at the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research and speaker at the First Congress of Industrial Cyber ​​Security organized by the Industrial Cyber ​​Security Centre last year. In its pursuit of excellence, Huistra is always seeking professionals who have a comprehensive understanding in the field. He warns, "if you find a professional like this, you better put him a chain to the ankle and do not let him ever leave the company."

Now let’s take care of Brazil, recently humiliated by Germany. The humiliation has not only been seen in the field: security breaches, passwords exposed, specific variants of malware... The World Cup has attracted two types of people: soccer fans and crooks. Among the extensive documentation that can be found on the Internet, it is worth is to rescue today a PDF report entitled "Brazil and the fog of (cyber)war," signed by Diego Rafael Canabarro and Thiago Borne, which is a comprehensive review on the cybersecurity policies developed by the Amazonian country.

Argentines are security champions, or at least pioneers in the field. It is quite difficult to find recent news about security in the tango’s nation partially because the Argentine Plan for Cybersecurity is not new. In fact, you have to look back to 2011. At that time, the director of the National Office of Information Technology, Pedro Janices, said in an interview that the "most valuable" tool was (and still is) "the information exchange on the diversse modalities of cyber attacks."

And what about the big favorite, Germany? Well, we can say that it is also the one which stands out from the others in terms of security training. There are plenty of information about that on the internet, so let’s go directly to the source: the PDF report called "Cybersecurity Strategy for Germany" commissioned by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, a 20-page document where they are gathered all the keys of German cybersecurity. It was edited, as in the case of the Argentine one, in 2011.

As mentioned, the World Cup in Brazil leaves us numerous headlines about information security. Anyway, Brazil had to pay a high price for this: it is estimated that the total investment in security has been five times than what its predecessor, South Africa, spent in 2010. However in the area of zeros and ones, you have to be very careful, the prestigious American magazine Time explains in a story that leaves no room for doubt: "World War Zero: how to fight hackers to steal your data."

Third and fourth, and the end. The die is cast. Only one team will get the World Cup, but all of them have fought to get it. In the world of security there is no silver medal: if you do not want to protect you, there will always be someone who will try to score you a goal. Stay tuned, even when the lights of the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro are switched off.


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