Cyberspace & open empowerment in Latin America

Cyberspace & open empowerment in Latin America

With some 40% of the population now online, connectivity is expanding in Latin America faster than in any other part of the world. Correspondingly, across Latin America, governments have been struggling to keep up with the pace and range of cyber-enhanced change.

In this respect, most governments involve a complex mix of leveraging cyberspace to enhance governance while adopting cyber-security policies, laws and capabilities to police and impose order on this promising, risk-filled and volatile space. Identically, Latin American civil society plays a major role in cyber-security governance.

On the other hand, owing in part to the decentralised character of cyberspace, the private sector is in some cases far ahead of Latin American governments in assessing cyber-threats and formulating responses, particularly in relation to the banking and e-services sectors. However, the sector is still punching below its weight when it comes to promoting cyber-security across Latin America.

Key findings include:

  • a broader approach to cyber-security is needed: the causes and effects of cyber-security challenges cannot be reduced to narrow technical and institutional reform issues
  • shared situational awareness matters: the dynamics and characteristics of cyber-threats and cyber-responses in Latin America vary across states, sub-regions, cities, and even neighborhoods
  • coordination is a key to success: the cyber-security challenge is multi-dimensional, and so are effective responses; thus, close and continuous coordination between states, the private sector and civil society is of great importance
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