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Latin American companies are the most advanced in the world in security technology

World Security Report LATAM Press Release

Latin America-based companies are the most advanced in the world in their use of cutting-edge and emerging technology in security operations, according to the ‘World Security Report’ published by G4S.

1,775 Chief Security Officers (CSOs) in 30 countries at large, global companies with total revenue of more than $20 trillion took part in the first ever ‘World Security Report’.

45% of the nearly 310 CSOs from Latin America gave their company’s current use of technology the most advanced rating, compared with the world average of 38%.

Use of this technology type in Brazil, at 57%, far outstrips other countries surveyed, with Mexico at 48%, Colombia at 45%, Argentina at 39% and Chile at 36%.

Security leaders anticipate that internal and external threats to their business will increase and remain higher than the world averages over the coming year.

Fraud is likely to be the biggest external threat for 29% of companies in the coming year. Mexico, Brazil and Colombia rated this most likely at 37%, 33% and 30%, respectively - all well above the world average of 25%.

Leaking sensitive information is expected to be the biggest internal threat in the next 12 months, said 34% of participants - slightly lower than the world average. Chile ranked this higher than any other country in the region, at 44%.

Economic unrest is expected to be the biggest security-impacting hazard according to 43% of those surveyed, in the next 12 months. The countries most concerned by this are Argentina at 55% and Colombia at 48%.

Companies will invest the most in AI-powered surveillance and monitoring systems, biometrics and facial recognition technology over the next five years, at 49% and 44%, above the global averages of 42% and 40% respectively.

Companies also plan to significantly increase their physical security budgets according to 49% of participants, above the global average of 46%.

With economic unrest forecast to significantly affect a number of larger countries, It’s almost certain that organised criminal groups which are often very sophisticated, will become more insidious. Security leaders must be vigilant in terms of internal and external threats, such as the theft of company assets or information, fraud and the leaking of sensitive information.
Jesus Rosano, Regional CEO for G4S Latin America

“The sophistication of criminals is likely to have driven business investment in some of the most cutting-edge technology to tackle illegality.

“Further investment in the smartest tech, such as AI, and trusted, reputable security officers with the right skills, training and values will be the most effective defence companies can put in place to mitigate the impact.”

Ashley Almanza, executive chairman of G4S, Allied Universal’s international business, said: “Global businesses are facing increased security threats; a tight labour market globally; and rapidly changing technology that presents new risks and requires different skills. In addition, executive boards are grappling with balancing physical and cybersecurity alongside other priorities. The World Security Report helps our entire industry and the wider business community better understand and operate in the challenging, global and fast-moving security landscape.”

Key findings from the World Security Report in Latin America:

Security threats and incidents

  • External threats are expected to impact 96% of companies in the region and internal threats 94%, both world averages are 92%
  • ‘Theft of company physical property’ was the most common internal security incident experienced at 37% - above the world average of 32%. 40% of CSOs in Chile and 39% in Argentina reported their company had experienced this
  • ‘Theft of company physical property’ and ‘vandalism’ were the most prevalent external threats reported at 26% in the last year and above the world averages of 22% and 20% respectively
  • ‘Subversives - hackers, protestors, or spies’ - are anticipated to impact 50% of respondents in the next 12 months, a significant 18 percentage point increase from the previous year, but on par with the world average. Brazil expects to be 10 percentage points higher at 60%
  • The anticipated threat from ‘violent criminals’ at 39% is above the world average of 33%. Countries which expect to be particularly impacted are Chile at 47%, Mexico at 46% and Argentina at 42%
  • The threat actor group which most affected 44% of participants last year was ‘petty criminals’, significantly above the world average of 36%. Colombia was most impacted, according to 56% or respondents

The future of security

  • The drivers behind security budget increases are ‘rising operational costs’ cited by 50% and ‘international economic instability’ reported by 47% of those surveyed.
  • Security budget priorities will be focused on ‘training staff’ at 59% and above the world average of 52%, and ‘introducing new technology’ at 56% People in security
  • 66% of respondents reported it’s ‘extremely’ challenging to recruit the right people - second only to North America at 71%.
  • The biggest barriers to hiring are finding people with the ‘appropriate skills’ at 61%, followed by the right ‘experience’ at 59%.

About the World Security Report 2023

This landmark research is an independent, anonymous survey of 1,775 chief security officers (CSOs), or those in equivalent roles, from large, global companies in 30 countries, with a combined annual revenue of more than $20 trillion in 2022, representing a quarter of the world’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Download the press release in a PDF file here. (PDF 117.5 KB)