/ Protection of wireless critical infrastructure

6 January, 2020

During the last days we have witnessed a political discussion regarding the safekeeping of critical infrastructure and the possibility of using military forces to this end. However, there has been no mention of the wireless infrastructure that remains just as critical, regardless of its lack of physical presence.


In our times, a cybernetic attack can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than a physical attack. The news during the last weeks has concentrated on the social upheaval, and rightly so, but we must not forget the cyberattacks to which various of our financial institutions were prey not long ago and which likely continue to occur. In fact, part of the news has shown how companies have facilitated remote working for employees who have had difficulty in their daily commutes, further exposing companies to the dangers of online transfer of information.

The defense of our critical infrastructure must be omni-comprehensive, without allowing the legitime discussions regarding the presence of Armed Forces to leave one aspect uncared for. The data on cyberattacks carried out on key institutions are chilling, not only in Chile but worldwide. We must make use of the current discussion in order to get up to speed in the defense of our networks and operating systems. The information of commercial banks and financial institutions, the personal databases of our companies, the information from our state institutions, such as the Internal Revenue Service, data from hospitals and clinics; all is key, critical information which could be subject to a cyberattack.

The opportunity to resume the cybersecurity agenda, which contemplates among other projects the framework cybersecurity law, personal data protection law and the cybercrimes law are key steps towards the protection of part of the critical infrastructure of our country, without having to involve the discussion on the participation of the Armed Forces.

Although we are all in agreement that it was impossible to predict the attacks on our subway system and others of a similar nature, in the case of online information we cannot claim the same ignorance regarding our wireless security. In the three laws mentioned above we have the means to raise the precautionary levels, instead of regretting. The only thing missing is the political will to implement this defense of our critical wireless infrastructure and all the key data that is safeguarded within.

Santiago Ortúzar

Partner – Alessandri