This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
With a little over four million people, Panama has a relatively high internet penetration rate of 2.9 million or 70% of the population. About 2.5 million Panamanians gain access to the internet via their smartphones. Panama has the best submarine fiber-optic connections in Latin America with connectivity to eight undersea cables. The country is wired on both the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts, and directly connected to many countries throughout the Western Hemisphere: North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Panama’s economy is based primarily on a services sector that accounts for nearly 80% of its GDP. Currently, Panama is home to headquarters for more than 150 multinational corporationsthat benefit from internet connectivity and fiber-optic connections. A total of 78 banks are also operating in the country. Consequently, cybercrime, digital espionage, and the disruption of on-line services is a concern.
According to the 2019 OECD report, Panama has a sound governance framework for developing digital government, although its cybersecurity institutions are still in development stages. Additionally, the government aims to move beyond awareness into actively combating cyber threats and online services disruption. In 2019, Panama’s national assembly passed a Personal Data Protection Law that went into effect in March 2021. This law regulates the principles, rights, obligations, and procedures regarding personal data protection and establishes compensation for individuals for the improper use of their data.
The Computer Security and Incident Response Team of Panama (CSIRT) under the Government Innovation Authority (AIG) highlighted key findings related to cybersecurity in Panama:
- Professional criminals and state actors continue to be the most significant threat and inflict the most damage
- Digital attacks are being used to influence the democratic process
- The vulnerability of the Internet of Things has resulted in disruptive attacks that endorse the need to enhance digital resilience
- Many organizations are dependent on a limited number of digital infrastructure service providers, which means that the social impact of disruption is large.
Due to dramatic increases in cyber attacks and cybercrime over the past two years (421% since 2016), there is significant demand for cybersecurity services and software in both the public and private sectors. 2021 reached the highest number of cases, totaling 794 complaints, 68% were scams. 2020 closed with 423 cases of extortion. According to cybersecurity experts, U.S. companies have dominated the cybersecurity sector with about 60% share of the total market. Companies present in the market include Fortinet, Arbor, Palo Alto Symantec, Cisco, Netscout, and McAfee. Major competitors include Israel (CSI, ObserveIT, Guardicore) and some European companies, including Necsia from Spain.
There are currently no tangible figures on the size of the Panamanian cybersecurity market. This is due to the difficulty in discerning cybersecurity spending from general IT spending for both public and private sectors.
Best prospects for this sector are:
- Risk assessment
- Anti-malware/virus defense
- Endpoint security
- Vulnerability management
- Network security
The Panamanian government is committed to the digital transformation of the public sector and is investing in e-government. Increased accessibility also brings more significant security challenges that create opportunities for U.S. companies offering cybersecurity solutions that prevent and deter cybercrimes. With an increased focus on the disruptive and expensive consequences of cyber threats, both the private and public sectors need to increase their IT security investment.
- IT and Telecom Chamber of Panama (CAPATEC): https://www.senacyt.gob.pa/
- Government of Panama Science/Technology/Innovation Secretariat: https://www.senacyt.gob.pa/
- Autoridad de Innovacion Gubernamental: https://aig.gob.pa/|