As a result of the hacking of Sedena and the growing cyber attacks on the private sector, we are hearing more and more about the importance of having cybersecurity specialists in Mexico . Even a survey carried out by the ISC2 organization revealed that, although there are just over half a million specialists in this field in the country, about 200,000 are still needed to cover security gaps.
As for the public sector, in the country there are 27 cybernetic units attached to the Ministry of Public Security and five cybernetic units to state prosecutors, according to documents leaked in the Sedena hack. This without considering the cybersecurity specialists that are required in the private sector.
Mexico is the second country in Latin America that is investing the most in cybersecurity. Data provided by IDC shows that in 2022, 1.91 million dollars were invested in cybersecurity in the country, only behind Brazil, with 1.8 billion.
But what does it mean to be a cybersecurity specialist? What does this work consist of? Juan Carlos Parra, Director of Telecommunications at IDC in Mexico, told in an exclusive interview what the day-to-day life of a cybersecurity analyst is like .
The daily bread of a cybersecurity analyst
“My boss said that in our work we have to drag the pencil a lot and that means doing a lot of research,” Parra shared. According to him, being a cybersecurity analyst is something “quite interesting” because it means knowing and identifying every day what happens in the world, the region and the country in terms of types of attacks, types of viruses and types of prevention.
In the case of Mexico, identifying these crimes is important since electronic fraud, virtual extortion and identity theft are among the monetizable crimes that are costing the country the most. According to one of the documents reviewed by Expansion of GuacamayaLeaks, in 2022 538 million 503,288 pesos were consummated in these crimes and only 105 million 631,290 could be avoided. These sums can be avoided if there are more cybersecurity specialists monitoring, preventing and acting against this type of attack.
“Being an analyst and, particularly, being a security analyst is a scenario that opens the doors to how the world is, how the country is, and how to make decisions based on what you are investigating in order to help those who want to know how. there is security locally or regionally,” Parra mentioned.
In his day to day, the first thing Parra does is read the local press. “From there, the request to our internal team begins to validate the information, define its importance and depth, how true what is being mentioned is, and all the checking and analysis is done step by step.”
What do you have to study to be a cybersecurity analyst?
Parra is an electronic engineer, specialized in telecommunications, telematics and security. But he mentions that, although it is useful to be a computer systems engineer, anyone with infrastructure and network knowledge can also specialize. On the other hand, systems, computational or electronic engineers can be trained more properly in cybersecurity through tools that the same service providers offer.
However, he mentions that to get to this point a training of more than 20 years was necessary. Not because that is what is required today, but because over the years the cybersecurity environment has evolved and changed a lot. “Now you can take specialized security courses, like the ones offered by Cisco.”
In Mexico, these careers are taught by numerous public and private universities, such as the Universidad del Valle de México (UVM), the Universidad Latina (ULA), the Technological University of Mexico (UNITEC), the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) or the Universidad National Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM)
One of the main deficiencies that Parra highlighted is that universities update their academic programs every four or five years, while the technological revolution means that everything changes annually.
Technology companies offer courses and certifications. “Companies have to train personnel so that they can be guarantors of the brand and face the security scenario that is being presented today, because security attacks and needs are changing every day. And the academy is falling behind.”
Parra mentions that the person who works safely and performs in that area has to seek constant self-development and self-performance. “On the internet you can’t find a certification, but you can start looking for options.”
He stressed that on average the salary of a recent graduate can range between 25,000 and 35,000 pesos per month, because there are few people in the market. But, it also highlights that the growth capacity in this sector is great. “As the market grows and satisfies the needs, people dedicated to cybersecurity analysis will take on a more interesting value and a more concise stability and will be able to be more stable within their professional environment with growth prospects”, he concluded. .