Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – As part of the celebration of Cybersecurity Awareness month (October), the National Cybersecurity Center (CNCS) of the Ministry of the Presidency in conjunction with Microsoft and the Presidential Office of Information Technologies and Communication (OPTIC) held the Virtual Cybersecurity Summit event to support learning about the impact of cybersecurity in the face of the great challenge of protecting Dominican citizens and their infrastructures through the use of technologies. Faced with the proliferation of cyber attacks, organizations must take a defensive posture and effectively and proactively address potential threats to their technology environments.
The event was opened by Claudia García, Cloud Specialist for the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, together with Juan Gabriel Gautreaux, Executive Director of the National Cybersecurity Center and Kaking Choi, Director of the State Data Center of the OPTIC. The development of the training was in charge of the specialists Jimena Mora, Laura Morales, Julio Ureña, Ingrid Rodriguez and José Cortés. The closing of the event was held under the words of Carlos Leonardo, Director of the Cyber Incident Response Team and Jose Montilla, Vice Minister of Digital Agenda.
This virtual workshop was held on Wednesday, October 28 and Thursday, October 29, covering topics of great global relevance such as a more secure cyberspace for Dominicans, trust in the cloud, Microsoft cybersecurity commitment, identity and access management, including the concept of trust. Zero for identities, information protection strategies, device management and demonstration of a cyber attack and incident handling. It is of great importance for the Dominican government to train a diverse workforce in techniques and skills that can respond effectively to the growing needs demanded by cybersecurity. For the first day of the event, 320 people attended, and a total of 239 for the second day.
Context of security in the new reality.
The multinational Microsoft highlighted that identity attacks based on brute force have more than doubled during the first half of the year, in addition to highlighting that:
The most common threats are phishing, ransomware, and DDoS attacks. Among these, phishing stands out since 90% of attacks start with an email. Furthermore, a few years ago, cybercriminals targeted malware attacks as it gave them the best ROI. Lately, they shifted the focus to phishing attacks (about 70%) in order to obtain user credentials.
Ransomware represents a major change in the threat landscape due to its ability to take files hostage, encrypt them and deny access to their owners, and then request ransom amounts. This has become a real fear for most executives. In some cases, cybercriminals managed to break into a system and compromise the entire network in less than 45 minutes.
Microsoft mitigated 600-1000 DDoS attacks each day in March, roughly 50% more than pre-COVID19 levels.
In a recent study by Microsoft, 73% of CISOs report having had cases of sensitive data leakage and spying in the past 12 months, and plan to invest more in technology to reduce internal risk due to the pandemic.