Digital Conflict

By Kevin Coleman

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Kevin Coleman

What Brazil is doing to step up cyber defenses

Brazil’s military took the plunge and recently established a military cyber command.  Many have applauded this action as a big first step. After all, Brazil is in the top 10 countries when it comes to cyber crime, and some estimates have placed the country in the top 5 in that category. 

Brazil's armed forces (Navy, Air Force and and Marine Corps) are the largest in Latin America with just more than 300,000 members and also more than 1 million reservists. The country’s armed forces’  budget is estimated to be between 1.7 percent and 1.85 percent (+/- $44.5 billion) of the country’s gross domestic product, which in 2011 was estimated at $2.324 trillion. 

While the cyber group is limited in size and has a modest budget. Army General José Carlos dos Santos, commander of the Cyber Defense Center, anticipates the center’s staff to soon grow to about 100. In a published interview, he described cyber warfare as an asymmetric challenge and identified future challenges that he and his staff will focus on in the months ahead.

Brazil is re-skilling members of its military and supplementing them by hiring civilians with desired cyber skills. The new cyber center is constructing a modern situational awareness room to monitor cyber threats. The center’s monitoring efforts are said to focus on trends and statistics rather than monitoring individual users, and broader attention is being given to threats on social networks.

Brazil ranks 37 in the world in terms of cyber warfare capabilities in the Cyber Commander’s eHandbook and this move is expected to raise that ranking moderately.This comes as little surprise to those that monitor cyber threat activity globally.  Brazil has been the target of hostile cyber activities.  Some reports suggest the country receives thousands of cyberattacks each day. Some of the more harmful cyberattacks have been denied by Brazilian authorities.

Posted by Kevin Coleman on Aug 09, 2012 at 9:26 PM

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