In 2021, Chile suffered more than 9.4 billion attempted cyberattacks, according to data collected by our partner Fortinet’s threat intelligence laboratory, FortiGuard Labs, in its quarterly report, including information obtained daily in real time.
According to Arturo Torres, FortiGuard Labs Cybersecurity Strategist at Fortinet for Latin America and the Caribbean, “the increase in volume, sophistication and effectiveness of cyber threats during 2021 has been remarkable, so organizations in the region must be better prepared with a comprehensive and automated security approach to prevent, detect and reduce these risks that are putting the integrity of their operations at a jeopardy”.
In the opinion of David Parraguez, CISO of Anida Latam, “companies require a comprehensive view that allows them to prepare and strengthen their defenses in a scenario in which threats grow and become more sophisticated, where having a proactive approach will also be key”.
The data from the report also places Mexico as the Latin American country that received the most attempted attacks (156 billion), followed by Brazil (88.5 billion), Peru (11.5 billion) and Colombia (11.2 billion).
The 2021 report reveals that Latin America and Caribbean countries are on equal levels with other regions and have been the target of nearly 10% of all cyberattack attempts that have occurred in the world in the last year. For example, the Log4J vulnerability, one of the most used by attackers, which allowed the complete remote execution of malicious code on vulnerable systems in the region.
Remote work as a gateway
As seen, many of the threats to corporate cybersecurity reported during 2021 are closely related to the greater number of people connected to their jobs remotely.
FortiGuard Labs has also detected a large number of remote code execution (RCE) attacks on IoT devices such as cameras, microphones, and home routers, allowing the attacker to take control of vulnerable enterprise systems.
In this context, Mirai continues to be the Botnet campaign that registers the most activity in all the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Mirai is a cyber threat targeting IoT devices that causes infected devices to join a network of botnets, which are used for DDoS attacks.
Meanwhile, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Panama have been the target of distributions of malware and Trojans focused on Microsoft Office applications, usually used for distance work and education.
Malware distribution through deceptive advertising, malicious websites, and phishing email campaigns remains the most widely technique used by cybercriminals. Once victim devices are infected, attackers can hijack them and use them for cybercrimes such as credential theft and distributed denial-of-service attacks.
“In this sense, it is always important to remember how important is user awareness, in order to minimize the risks through the opening of suspicious emails or links. They are a first defense barrier that enhances the security strategy of companies, supporting the work of security and monitoring solutions”, highlights the CISO of Anida Latam.
Fortinet continuously monitors the attack surface in Latin America and the Caribbean. Their threat ‘hunters’, researchers, analysts, engineers and scientists analyze and process this information using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other innovative technologies to mine data in search of new threats.
This results in timely and actionable threat intelligence in the form of security product updates and proactive threat research to help organizations better understand and defend against threats.