LatAm in Focus: Cyber Attacks in Costa Rica Expose a Regional Threat

By Chase Harrison

A series of hacks pummeled Costa Rica. Cybersecurity expert Belisario Contreras covers what it showed about the region’s digital vulnerabilities.

“Every day technology is evolving—and the threats are evolving.”

Contreras explained that many countries have yet to make the commitment to shoring up digital infrastructure. According to a 2020 cybersecurity report spearheaded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the OAS, only seven of the 32 countries studied in the Americas have a critical infrastructure protection plan. That includes Costa Rica and, while it helped the country parry some aspects of the cyberattack, the Central American country still took a hit.

Contreras ends with a call to action: As the world increasingly digitizes and more citizens get online, cybersecurity preparedness needs to be elevated as a top political concern. If not, the region could face serious financial and humanitarian consequences.

Executive Producer Luisa Leme and Producer Jennifer Vilcarino produced this episode.

The music in this episode is Costa Rica’s Manny Oquendo performing at the Americas Society. Learn more at: musicoftheamericas.org