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87% of Latin American companies were victims of cyberattacks in the last year

87% of Latin American companies suffered cybersecurity breaches in the last year. The economic damages from these attacks were equal to or greater than USD 1 million for 6 3% of the affected companies.

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The data comes from the 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report, carried out by Fortinet, for which more than 1,200 IT and cybersecurity decision makers were interviewed in 29 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

According to data collected specifically in Latin America, 70% of companies reported experiencing one to four security breaches in the past 12 months, and 17% reported experiencing more than five. This cost their businesses up to $1 million (for 37% of respondents) and more than $1 million (for 26%).

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Cybersecurity skills gap contributes to increased risk cybernetic of organizations. Across countries in the region, 89% of organizations reported that their board of directors specifically questions what the company is doing to address the rise in cyberattacks. Y 80% of respondents said the board is looking to increase the number of IT and cybersecurity employees.

In this sense, it should be noted that experts in this field are missing. According to the 2021 Cyber ​​Workforce Report from (ISC)2, the global cybersecurity workforce needs to grow by 65% to effectively defend the critical assets of organizations.

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While the global number of professionals needed to fill the gap fell from 3.12 million to 2.72 million last year, this remains a significant gap that leaves businesses vulnerable. In Latin America alone, there are 701,000 cybersecurity professionals missingaccording to this report.

In this sense, training is an essential strategy to address the problem of the skills gap. A) Yes, 77% of leaders prefer to hire people with certificationsbut 88% say that it is difficult to find professionals with this differential.

So, 95% of respondents say they are willing to pay for an employee to receive cybersecurity certifications. One of the main reasons companies highly value certifications is to increase awareness and perform tasks more efficiently.

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As for the staff in general, 52% of leaders believe that their employees do not have the necessary cybersecurity knowledge. To help prevent risks and infractions to companies, it is necessary to carry out training for all sectors. This is important because attackers often go after the weakest link in organizations, and these are employees with no knowledge of the cybersecurity risks they are exposed to.

Besides, the industry is betting on diversity, with a view to having teams more capable of containing the growing landscape of cyber threats. The report found that 64% of leaders in Latin America admit that their organization faces difficulties recruiting and 48% face difficulties retaining talent.

The hardest-to-hire positions are Cloud Security Specialists (at 40%) and SOC and DevSecOps Analysts (tied at 37%).

Organizations seek to build more capable and diverse teams, which is why 93% of companies in Latin America have explicit diversity goals for the next two to three years as part of their hiring strategy. The report also showed that 80% of organizations have formal structures to specifically recruit more women.

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