Are individuals and families ready to face the Cybersecurity risks of the perfect digital storm?


Are individuals and families ready to face the Cybersecurity risks of the perfect digital storm?

Theyeat zaremos this new article as an extension of the previous article «The Perfect Digital Storm».  This time we will focus on the analysis of how this storm affects people and families,  on humanity’s  return path  to  the 4th industrial revolution, where we all go  in the direction of digital transformation, being aware of it or not. After the current pandemia isover, we will see how the next steps materialize, since COVID19, will only be   a splinter that allows usirá to visualize  as  a antechamber  of the new reality that we must begin to face together as humanity.

Throughout the article I will try to solve the question of whether individuals and families are prepared to face the cybersecurity risks and challenges  of this storm of transformation..  Itry to turn new threats into competitive advantagess  or opportunities for people into this new reality.

Cybersecurity Professionals

 Today we see a lack of training of cybersecurity professionals around the world and in direct contracting, there is a sustained increase in new cybercriminals supported by new technologies and acting  without borders taking advantage of the general ignorance in society of the risks involved in massive access to the Internet or extreme digitization. In a study by the professional cybersecurity specialist organization (ISC)2,  they indicate  that,  at the current pace, the need or demand for global cybersecurity specialists will increase dramatically and reach 1.8 million by 2022.  In Chile, universities do not yet produce all the professionals necessary to meet this explosive local demand, as is the Academic Coordinator, Center for Studies in Computer Law, Faculty of Law, University of Chile in the OAS report of risk reporting, advances in Cybersecurity.

LIn the absence of training of professionals creates an effect in which the most urgent need in private or strategic government areas is first met, leaving the demand for knowledge of the discovered society, also creating an urgent need for massification and democratization of the risks of cybersecurity in all families,,  and especially  today that parents are changing their way to teleworkor, with children digitizing at very early stages of life and who have access to mobile phones from very young as we will see later.

The more people’s access to the Internet, the greater the risk

Accordingtothe OAS report mentioned earlier in this article, Chile leads access to the Internet by number of inhabitants in Latin America, in contrast to the lack of professionals and few training alternatives  in the field of  Cybersecurity. On the other hand, as another background,  in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic,  Chile was the country that used social networks the most during the first weeks of confinement,  according to figures from the  Spanish portal,for every  100 inhabitants, approximately 80  recorded  access to social networks, the highest figure in SouthAmerica.

In the early days of the pandemic, according to the site, Chile ranked first in social media use in Latin America, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter increasing its use by 53%.

The degree of exposure of people is a breeding ground for cybersecurity  risks, given the existence of   a  gap  in  knowledge  and  prevention,, the vast majority of families are not aware of the risks to which their members are  exposed,nor how to avoid them.

Increased cyberattacks in  Pandemic:

According to Fortinet  (Network and Firewall Security Expert Company),  its 7th-on-year global report indicates that more than 600 new  phishing campaigns have been generated  since the start of the pandemic. The strategy used  is to send messages and emails with malicious links that lead the user to disclose personal and banking data on  falsors websites  among others. More than 344 million cyberattack attempts  have been detected in Chile during the first quarter,where  phishing registers  the top increase with 131%. «Thisquarter we have seen a change in the behavior of cybercriminals, who are now trying to break into the networks  through phishing attacks, abusing the trust and insecurity of people seeking information about  Covid-19.».

According to the POIPolicía  (Chilean Police investigations),there, se registrwas  a  40% increase in computer crimes in the last four weeks, and of that percentage highlights that  90% has to do with ‘phishing’, taking advantage of massive access to social networks and the increase of telework in confinement.   Also  over the last few days have seen various messages sent by WhatsApp with links, emails and even text messages with alleged requests to subsidies, government bonds, registrations to reductions of financial credits, among others.

Ordigital growth force andn  education in Chile

In the first few days the impact on families on their accustomed lifestyles could be quickly seen, especially in  schoolss  and students, it was a drastic change because they were  not prepared with digital education programs, and less prepared were teachers, who  timidly  began to  try virtual classes,unfortunately not for all, since approximately 40% of Chilean schoolchildren were able to receive digital distance education in pandemic according to study of Mineduc (Chilean Ministry of Education).

Interesante was to see the speed of adaptation of the little ones in the house, in my  case, our  daughters did not know that it was Teams or a virtual class about four months ago, and now they are already handled better than me,, as if it had always been a digital distance education, I also find it fantastic that proxy meetings are virtual.   This  rapid  acceptance  of generation Z children (in my case) not only accept Teams or  Zoom i quickly,but  also  began  to  use much more than they have available  technologically  such as  las  social networks, games, chats and others to kill time,por what we should constantly  accompany them to avoid all kinds of threats in the  cyberworld  with which they interacted more and more.

According to statistics from Safe and Secure Online and Unesco, 90% of children between the ages of 8 and 14 have access to the internet via mobile, and 49% of these do so after 23:00 onweekdays. Unfortunately not all the apps or games that  we install on our  mobiles are  safe for our children and we must  amake sure among other things the permissions that theapplication uses,as  many  times they are more than they require for their use,for  example,  location,  camera,  microphone and others.

On the other hand, According to the survey in, 18% of Chilean children spend at least three hours a day playing online and 63% of the people they play with are unknown, so we must be very attentive to the increasein grooming that by fomeno of the pandemic has been more recently and is given when adults make them believe that they are the same age, and generate a bond of trust, then to carry out a sexual abuse. As of June  2020,  IDI already has 29 complaints.

Also  in pandemic  we can see that people about exposing their lives and those of  their  children. The exhibitionof children on social networks is to open the door to new threats,, since they do not  understand  some parents  that what they share on the network will always be there and can be multicopyed or disseminated without their control.

Some practical  and simple tips for parents

*Talk to children at home to maintain a critical attitude online and to be immediately informed if they try to communicate with unknown people in the virtual world even if they pose as minors.  

*Not about exposing our children on social media, this creates a window into new threats from cybercriminals

*Keep computers and mobile devices up-to-date  with robust security solutions: antiphishing, antimalware, antivirus.

*Checkyour  Home Wifi password, worry about putting a sturdy key,  an open wifi is equivalent to leaving the door open of your home.

*Do not connect to Wifis publishes«everything free is dangerous», «when not there payment is because the payment is you or your data».

*Do not click on any type of link crowded by email or social networks, it is always recommended to type directly the address in the browser.

*Ideally use payments or process that contain more than one authentication factor or at more than one validation stage such as mail, sms password, and other

*Do not use personal data or repeat the username in the password. It is also advisable to combine letters,symbols, capital letters and numbersos


In Chile despite being the first country in Latin America with access to theInternet, presenting  a high development of networks to be service, with massive access of people to  mobile phones and having  advances in cybersecurity, according to the OAS maturity study (July 2020), we are still halfway there and must continue to democratize and massify cybersecurity knowledge,   developing prevention culture in universities, colleges, teachers and especially in more vulnerable sectors of  society,where less than 40% were able to access virtual classes in pandemics..

Likewise, in education the digital divide seems not only because of access to Internet resources, but also because of the lack of preparation in digital educational plans and programs in schools,universities  and professors, since I take them by surprise, as well as to the whole of society, without having the  developed skills or the necessary tools.  I think  the change is complex and difficult, but at the time it is adopted it no longer has back and post the pandemic  backto    normal classes, it will ben  much more digital than before.  

It would be a tremendous  competitive advantage for the  country, including in early  stages  of training  the  Digitization  and prevention of Cybersecurity risks,as well as in the university careers  of all its curricular meshes..

On the other hand, the development of a culture of prevention in cybersecurity means that minimal controls are applied to families to safely navigate the perfect digital storm. Protectthendchildren ando principalmente a los niños  teenagers,who today discover the virtual world from the window of their mobilephone.

It is of no use to be the first country to use social networks, if we do not caution the information we disclose on them or take precautions not to be victims of a scam or cyberattack, where they use as a vector the social engineering of data that we add ourselves on thenetworks.

«The information we expose on social media, we know when we upload, but we do not know where it ends and when they will be deletedor disclosed for other purposes.».

Julio Francisco Naranjo Figueroa
Ingeniero Industrial
Ingeniero Civil Informático
Magíster en Ciberseguridad Universidad de Barcelona

Bibliography and references:

Lack of Cybersecurity Professionals: (ISC)² Global shortfall of cybersecurity workers to reach 1.8 million in five years, new research reveals
research reveals

Cisco System Study on Cybersecurity Professional Gap,encuentra%20el%20%C3%A1rea%20de%20Ciberseguridad.

OAS Cybersecurity Report 29/07/2020 : Risks, advances and the path in Latin America and the Caribbean  

Digital gap and online education: the pandemic is not the same for everyone

Exposure of children in pandemic

Password managers

Increased cyberattacks


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