In recent years, Costa Rica has been acknowledged as the leading hub for technological advancements in Latin America. America. The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency highlights that Costa Rica is home to 16 of the world’s top 100 IT companies with a digital technology labor force that grows at 7.6%, annually. These statistics are no small feat and have set Costa Rica at a high standard worldwide.
However, as technological advancements are being made worldwide, one of the prominent areas in need of continuous and serious attention is the state of public and cyber security. So, what are the biggest recent developments in Costa Rica’s security technology, and what do these mean for the country moving forwards?
Following delayed plans that had originally been announced back in 2017 stating that biometric passports would be rolled out in Costa Rica by 2020, the country became one of the first in Latin America to successfully debut them just last year.
Part of the cited benefits of using biometric technology such as this is that they are much harder to forge, offering more protection to the individual’s identity and contributing to a hopefully more efficient and reliable security system. However, ExpressVPN notes that biometric data comes with risks that require careful consideration as its use in technology is growing increasingly common in day-to-day procedures. While offering considerable protection by largely curbing forgery threats, the use of biometric data, particularly in any criminal justice system, can lead to surveillance and misidentification issues.
As a result, it is important for individuals to be careful about how and where their biometric data is shared and used for authentication and identification purposes.
Due to the spread of cons that come alongside the supposed pros of using biometric data, it is important that data protection laws are appropriately updated in consideration of their increased usage. Currently, Costa Rica’s data protection laws do not specifically cover or go into detail about biometric data.
Just last year, Costa Rica faced an official National State of Emergency in what the INPLP identified as the largest cyber attack in the country’s history. Conti Ransomware and Hive Ransomware Group were responsible for the series of attacks that impacted 30 public institutions — one of the most devastating being the public health sector.
Conti Ransomware demanded a ransom sum that was later increased to over double the original figure to cease their public release of Costa Rican government data online. While Costa Rica was able to make use of several protective measures it had already implemented prior to the attacks, the consequences were crippling and left the country in a difficult recovery period.
With the knowledge that the risk of serious and large-scale cyber attacks such as this could reoccur in the future, the Costa Rican government will likely double down on efforts to improve preventative measures in preparation for this threat.
Safe and Secure
Following a rather eventful year for public and digital security, Costa Rica is faced with several large hurdles that will need to be formally addressed moving forwards. As a country that has already proved itself technologically adept, there is hope for its endeavors in security technology to bear fruit as heads are put together to ensure that the data of its people is kept safe.