Ann Marie Puig


Ann Marie Puig explains why Latin American businesses need to update their technology

47% of Latin American companies use some form of outdated technology within their IT infrastructure. This practice puts companies at risk of suffering more financial damage in the event of a security breach, 51% more for SMEs and 77% more for companies, compared to those that update on time. Ann Marie Puig, a global business consultant with strong technological insight, discusses why Latin American businesses need to focus on technology upgrades.

Although vulnerabilities are inevitable in any software, including updates and patches on a regular basis can minimize risks. For this reason, users are always advised to install the latest versions of software as soon as they are available, even if updates are sometimes complicated or time-consuming.

“Almost half of Latin American companies use some obsolete technology or software,” states Puig. “Therefore, the majority of the organizations must prioritize software renewal and be prepared to invest and save money in the long run.”

Faced with a security breach in large companies with outdated technology, such as unpatched operating systems, old software or unsupported mobile devices, financial damages can reach an average of $ 1.25 million. This is 77% more than the average of companies with completely updated technology, or around $709,000.

In the case of SMEs in the region, the average financial damage reaches $112,000 for those with obsolete technology. This is 51% more than those with updated IT, whose losses amount to $74,000 in the event of a security breach.

Among the reasons for not updating the technology, one of the most common is incompatibility with applications developed in-house (49%). This factor can be critical for those organizations that develop software internally to respond to their own needs or when using very specific applications with limited support.

Another common reason is the resistance of employees to work with new software versions, and in these cases, exceptions are made. On the other hand, 39% of the participants in a recent study stated that the technologies were not updated because they were owned by the members of the board of directors. 13% claimed that the company lacked the necessary resources to update everything at once.

Any additional costs to businesses are critical, especially now that the global economic situation is unstable due to the pandemic. However, as recent events have shown, that cannot be an excuse for inaction.

A recent high-profile hack of the Costa Rica government’s infrastructure confirms the impact of having outdated software. While it’s not possible to get rid of issues immediately, some measures help mitigate risks, allowing companies to save money and avoid other potential consequences.

To minimize the risk as a result of software vulnerabilities, there are several measures experts recommend. The first is to ensure that the organization is using the latest version of its operating system and applications, with automatic update functionalities enabled so that the software is always up to date. Asserts Puig, “If it is not possible to update the software, companies are advised to address this attack vector by separating vulnerable nodes from the rest of the network, along with other measures.”

Businesses also need to enable vulnerability scanning and patch management functionality in an endpoint protection solution. This can automatically remove vulnerabilities in infrastructure software, proactively patch them, and download critical software updates.

In the case of critical IT systems, it is important to always be protected beyond the availability of software updates. This means that only the default activities should be enabled for the systems’ own purposes.

It is important to increase the security knowledge and cybersecurity skills of IT managers, who are on the front lines of security infrastructure updates. It can also help to take a specific online training course in computer security.