Jamil Farshchi is the global head of Information Security of Equifax, the company that owns the credit risk Veraz. The expert warned, in an interview with LA NACION, that Argentina and the countries of the region in general may be vulnerable to cyber attacks and that "organizations must be aware that there are millions of virtual attacks happening every day around the world."
The arrival of Farshchi to Equifax was preceded by a hack of data produced last year in the United States that put at risk sensitive information of 143 million people.
Asked about the possibility of a similar situation in the country being replicated, he replied: "We are confident that the investments we have made place us as leaders in the cybersecurity industry and have reinforced us as much in Argentina as in the rest of the world" .
The expert began his career in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where sensitive data on US security are stored. In the private sector he worked in companies such as Home Depot, Time Warner and Visa, where he was responsible for the protection of more than US $ 7 trillion in payment card transactions per year.
Regarding the situation in the region, he said that "there is still a need for greater emphasis on aspects such as talent development and focus on cybersecurity issues." To graph the picture, he said that "when planning attacks in the United States, they usually try their methods first in Latin American countries."
A report by a specialized organization in the field, Pew Research Center, based in Washington, based on information gathered in more than 25 countries around the world, indicates the preparation each one has to resist cyber attacks. "Latin America obtained one of the lowest scores in relation to any other region in the world, and specifically on Argentina, around 50% of the participants expressed that they are not ready to face an attack," warned Farshchi.
One of the main trends in terms of computer attacks is that criminals point to the weakest links in the chain, so they focus on the countries with the least degree of preparedness to face them. Every time there is more information about people or companies, managed by a greater number of organizations, for which the amount of this valuable data has increased, with the consequent increase in risks.
"In 90% of attacks, basic techniques such as phishing are used, a simple method that allows infiltrations through an email. Once the system is violated, they apply more sophisticated methods and point to what is called Unique Data Assets, information so sensitive and valuable that criminals seek to monetize in order to sell, "he said.
As an example of a criminal proceeding, he explained that a criminal can attack a bank and obtain certain confidential information from a person. Then, a hospital with more confidential data and, finally, a social network where it complements the total data it obtains about its victim. "In this way a complete profile of the person is formed, a package that is much more profitable to sell," he said.
Farshchi puts the focus on Argentina, where he believes that the correct path is being followed. "We are looking to emulate the privacy protocols of the United States and Europe, through what is known as GDPR [global data privacy requirements]," he said.