The Colombian capital of Bogota is playing host to a two-day seminar between national and Israeli representatives assessing the threat of cyber-attack and exploring opportunities for cooperation between the two countries.
The head of Israel’s National Information Security Agency, Erez Kreiner, joined Colombian Deputy Defense Minister Jorge Enrique Bedoya to discuss cyber-defense issues such as the identification, prioritization, and protection of digital infrastructures in the areas of water, energy, telecommunications, banking, finance, trade, and communications, according to a statement released by the Colombian Ministry of Defense.
Officials from both countries expressed that the possible disruption or destruction of these digital databases would have serious impacts on matters of international security.
“The big question facing cyber-defense and cyber-security is if one is ready to respond to a cyber-attack. Many people believe that the question is whether there is a possibility of being a victim of a cyber-attack, and actually nobody is exempt from being one,” said Bedoya.
“Cyber war today is a reality. Therefore, we must understand and learn how and why it works; to analyze the risks and prepare ourselves how to confront and control them,” the deputy defense minister added.
Although Bedoya noted that Colombia has made progress in the area of cyber-security, many of the country’s largest industries — such as the mineral and petroleum extraction sector — remain at a particularly high risk of attack.
Colombia has been proactive on the subject in recent years, becoming the first Latin AMerican country to announce a national cyber defense strategy. According to a recent Organization of American States (OAS) report, Colombia remains a regional leader in the field.
International partnership has been one prominent feature of Colombia’s approach to preventative measures. In March, the OAS announced that it would fulfill the country’s request for international assistance, sending various experts from countries including Israel to help design cyber-security policy.
Domestically, a number of cooperative agencies have been formed between the Ministries of Communication and Technology, Justice, and Defense, to combat cyber attacks, which in 2013 cost the country some $500 million, according to Portafolio.
The seminar, CiberColombia 2014, began on Tuesday and continues through 4PM on Wednesday.
- Colombia e Israel exponen avances tecnologicos en ciberseguridad y ciberdefensa (Ministry of Defense)