Information Security Within Emerging Markets

By on Apr 03, 2012

I’m kicking off a series of blog posts over the coming weeks and months related to emerging markets. Look for countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and South Africa to be discussed. Later, we’ll explore other countries including those in Asia as well as Europe and the Middle East.

The terms “emerging markets” and their subset “frontier markets” demand a bit of definition before I go too much further. Warning – pretty much every resource has a different list and a different definition.

The simplest way to think about emerging markets is a country with an economy and stock market in the early phases of development juxtaposed with developed, industrialized nations such as the United States, Germany and Japan.  Countries in the emerging markets category generally include China, India, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, Hungary, Poland, Thailand, Vietnam and about 20 others depending on which list you are looking at.

Frontier markets are a subset of emerging markets that are generally smaller and less liquid. They include: Estonia, Zimbabwe, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and about 20 others.

I recently wrote an article for (In)Secure Magazine on this topic in which I discuss my personal experiences working in these countries and addressing information security.  I focused on a few areas including threats, trends, workforce, regulations, and infrastructure.

While the threats and trends within emerging and developed markets are very similar, the way those threats and trends are approached can be, and should be, quite different – including the types of security products and services that take priority. Because of finite resources, lacking educational systems, limited regulatory controls, and faulty infrastructure, information security strategies must be “tweaked” in accordance with that particular country’s challenges and capabilities in mind if they are to be successful.

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