Brazil creates cyberattack response network

Federal government bodies unite to share information and better respond to major incidents.

Brazil has created a cyberattack response network aimed at promoting faster response to cyber threats and vulnerabilities through coordination between federal government bodies.

Created through a presidential decree signed on July 16, the Federal Cyber Incident Management Network will encompass the Institutional Security Office of the presidency as well as all bodies and entities under the federal governing administration. Public companies, mixed capital companies and their subsidiaries may become members of the network voluntarily.

The network will be coordinated by the Information Security Department of the Office of Institutional Security of the presidency through the government's Center for Prevention, Treatment and Response to Cybersecurity Incidents.

The Digital Government Secretariat (DGS), which operates under the Special Secretariat for Management and Digital Government of the Ministry of Economy, will have a strategic role in the formation of the network. The DGS is the central body of SISP, a system utilized for planning, coordinating, organizing, operating, controlling and supervising the federal government's information technology resources across more than 200 bodies.

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According to the DGS, the information sharing outlined in the decree that creates the network is expected to improve the articulation of SISP in terms of the prevention of incidents and actions required in a possible cyberattack. The Secretariat also implied that there is an expectation that public companies such as Dataprev, the government's social security technology and information company, and Serpro, the federal data processing service, will join the initiative even though their participation is not compulsory.

Having immediate knowledge about attacks and potential vulnerabilities being exploited will enable the Secretariat to alert other bodies to enforce the necessary containment measures, adding that another area of focus could include the development of guides and training to address the main issues identified by the network.

Mentioning Brazil's improvement in the latest Global Cyber Security Index by the United Nations, where Brazil rose 53 positions in the ranking from the 70th place in 2018 to the 18th position in 2021 - the best result across all of Latin America - digital government and management secretary Caio Mario Paes de Andrade noted the creation of the network would help the Brazilian federal government to strengthen further its role in confronting cyber threats.

"The protection of users must accompany the advancement of digital transformation, and we have ensured this protection", the secretary noted. "The network's rationale is further to foster the culture of coordinated confrontation within the government so that we can continue advancing on the issue of cybersecurity."

According to a survey released earlier this month, Brazilians are concerned about the security of their data. The survey has found that the fear of cyber attacks is high among Brazilian users, with 73% of respondents reported having suffered some kind of digital threat, such as receiving fake messages from companies and stolen passwords.