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Technology, collaboration to boost PHL cybersecurity efforts

THE Philippines can strengthen its cybersecurity measures by using threat intelligence technology and collaborating with other countries or institutions amid increasing digitalization.

Threat intelligence technology will help organizations prepare against potential cyber risks and enable incident response teams to tackle cyberattacks as they arise, Kaspersky Head of Corporate Communications for Asia-Pacific Jesmond Chang said in an e-mail.

“Threat intelligence involves sifting through data, examining it contextually to spot problems, and deploying solutions specific to the problem found. It encourages proactive, rather than reactive, behaviors in the fight against cyberattacks,” Mr. Chang said.

“Then there’s collaboration. If we want to advance the country’s readiness, we must open the channels to collaborate for cross-border coordination, public-private partnerships, building trust partnerships, bridging the cybersecurity skills gap, capacity-building, and education, among others,” he said.

Mr. Chang said due to increased digitalization, cyberattacks are getting more complex, making everyone vulnerable to cyber threats.

“Through collaboration, you can exchange data and strategies to combat a certain cyberattack and pick the best cybersecurity practice of that certain country or company. You can do exchange programs as well to train your security officer and the list goes on,” he said.

“We encourage both the government and private organizations to collaborate with neighboring countries, security vendors, and others to strengthen their cybersecurity capabilities,” Mr. Chang said.

He added that collaboration can help address cybersecurity loopholes through the exchange of data and strategies on current threat trends. It can also educate governments and businesses on how to protect themselves against cyberattacks.

“You cannot have the most advanced technology and strong processes if your people are not trained on how to use it or have bad cyber habits that don’t follow the regulations in place. And you cannot have well-trained people or security officers if you cannot supplement them with technology that can help them mitigate such attacks,” he said.

Mr. Chang noted that one of their studies showed there is a gap between awareness and action among Filipinos in acting versus cyberthreats affecting digital payment channels.

“Hopefully, with the regulations and campaigns in place initiated by the government and other private sectors, we’ll see lesser attacks against the Philippines. And that more Filipinos, if not all, will not only be armed with facts and knowledge on these cyber threats but also are proactively securing their devices and practicing good cyber hygiene,” he added.

ATTACKS ON BANKSFor its part, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has been prioritizing cybersecurity following several hacking incidents that targeted banks, Fitch Asia-Pacific Financial Institutions Director Tamma Febrian said in an e-mail.

“Recent initiatives such as implementing mandatory notifications for fund transfers exceeding a predefined amount, cooling off period for key account changes, removing clickable links in email/SMS, and encouraging banks to use cyber incident platform to expedite fraud investigations are all steps towards building a better cyber defense,” Mr. Febrian said.

“But no system is foolproof and therefore, we think that cybersecurity risks are unlikely to be completely mitigated. The broader push towards better cyber hygiene in the sector should, however, help to reduce down times or impact when cyber incidents inevitably occur,” he added. — Keisha B. Ta-asan

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