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Emerging Technologies, the key to promoting National Security

On January 10, I participated in the webinar titled “Emerging Technologies in Security” of the National Institute of Public Administration (INAP) Mexico together with M.A. Yei Bee Cerecer, Former owner of the C5 of Morelos and Quintana Roo and with M.A. Ernesto Ibarra, President of the Mexican Academy of Cybersecurity and Digital Law.

We had the honor of having the moderation of Ph.D. Ricardo Corral Luna, Director of the Public Administration Consulting Center (CECAP).


In the first question we defined what emerging technologies are. These arise and spread quickly but have great constructive and destructive potential. They are wide and transversal platforms. By their nature, they have the potential to generate positive, disruptive and exponential impact but they also carry a lot of risk. Some examples of these technologies are artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, crypto and blockchain technologies, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, internet of things (IoT), and biotechnology.

Mr. Cerecer explained that he has seen an impressive evolution in the use of emerging technologies in the operation of Security Command Centers. In these, information is managed and collected, and then shared with different areas and worked with. Among the technologies they use, they rely on secure communications networks, multiple specialized computer equipment, systems with statistical data, as well as large video surveillance systems.

In turn, Mr. Ibarra commented that emerging technology is a catalytic tool, and that in this new configuration of social dynamics we must keep security, freedoms and rights in mind. The use of technology generates new dynamics for the state for which we must be prepared. As long as the rights to privacy and protection of personal data and the exercise of freedoms are taken care of.

There are huge advances in quantum computing expecting to soon be able to crack robust encryption. This can put at risk those databases and communications that depend on this type of security. Likewise, progress may be made to detect communications from organized crime and to discover the contents of encrypted computers. Under a preliminary theoretical analysis, what may take a supercomputing center about 15 years to decrypt a single computer, could take a quantum computing center a few seconds.

Blockchain is a great tool for creating a decentralized and consensus decision ecosystem. However, it is used more and more by organized crime to carry out operations with cryptocurrencies. Millions of dollars can be moved between countries on a USB flash drive, or by simply memorizing access to a digital wallet. Today, this has no traceability.

In Artificial Intelligence, millions of data sets are worked on, neural network algorithms can now generate results taking into account large databases. The potential for misuse of generative AI is very great. For example, a person without much technical knowledge can create polymorphic malware with the help of these code generators. Also, this election year in the United States and Mexico, we will see an exponential increase in the creation and dissemination of so-called deepfakes, which will be very difficult to detect. The responsibility is on us to discern between what is real and what is false.

The participants share that cybersecurity initiatives must be promoted at the ecosystem level by collaborating with State actors. This can be achieved by including civil society, the academic sector, the public sector and the private initiative in the conversation. We must seek to generate consensus to understand the risk and implement changes under best practice mechanisms. All decision makers should know this so that more attention is paid to cyber risk and appropriate resources in human capital and budget are assigned.

In many countries, cyber risk is at the top of their risk agendas. In Mexico, it is not on the national agenda. A successful attack on critical infrastructure can not only cost lives but also quickly destabilize a nation. We must diagnose, understand and project the risk that these attacks can expose a country or the interconnected world.

The participants concluded that emerging technologies can be useful to promote the rule of law, combat corruption, enhance transparency and accountability, collaborate and cooperate between public and private entities of the different federal orders, and to protect services and public resources. Its importance and use will be key as long as it is accompanied by a methodology and strategic plan. It is essential to provide continuity to basic services and protect the technological infrastructure by safeguarding your information.

Here you can see the full webinar.


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