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Cybercrime continues to plague Mexico

June 1, 2023
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Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The country is looking for advanced technology to fight the problem.

Cybercrime is an increasing problem in Mexico, and it is one of the countries hardest hit by this phenomenon, reports show.

During the first six months of 2022, 85 billion cyberattacks were attempted in Mexico, according to the Mexican Cybersecurity Association, a 40% increase over the same period in 2021, Mexico News Daily reported. The global cybersecurity company Fortinet said that from January to June, Mexico suffered more cyberattacks than some of the biggest targets in Latin America, including Brazil (at 31.5 billion) and Colombia (with 6.3 billion), according to the article. Fortinet said many attacks used sophisticated technology such as ransomware. More than 18,000 ransomware attacks were reported during the six-month period.

In one of the hardest-hitting incidents, in September 2022, hackers broke into Mexican government files and gained access to a wide range of sensitive and classified data that ranged from military information to information on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s health and included monitoring the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Reuters News reported. Mexican oil company Pemex, the National Lottery, and the National Transparency Platform have also been targeted by cyberattacks in recent years, Reuters said.

Mexico does not have the worst problem on a worldwide basis; in fact, it ranked ninth in cybercrime in 2022. Figures for the entire year show that 13 of every million internet users in Mexico were victims of cybercrime, according to Surfshark, down from 10 of every million users in 2021. The UK topped the list of cybercrime victims.

Mexico’s government adopted a National Cybersecurity Strategy in 2017. The plan includes more training of cybersecurity professionals, strengthening the technological infrastructure to protect against cybercrime vulnerability, expanding international collaboration, consolidating the cybersecurity ecosystem in Mexico, and encouraging research in the sector.

According to the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union, Mexico ranked 52nd of 182 countries surveyed in the agency’s Global Cybersecurity Index 2020, the most recent available. Mexico ranks fourth in the Americas region, after the U.S., Canada, and Brazil. The index measures the commitment of countries to boosting internet security.

Wisconsin companies with technology designed to detect or deter cybercrime may find opportunities in Mexico.

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