Written by Miguel Hanz L. Antivola, a journalist.
Experts predict that due to the growing dependence on digital technology, the Philippines will likely experience a rise in cyber threats by 2024. It is therefore important for both organizations and individuals to strengthen their cybersecurity measures.
In a message sent through Viber on Monday, Sam Jacoba, the founder and president of the National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP), predicts an increase in cyber attacks for the year 2024. This was reported to BusinessWorld.
“The government, private sector, and communities of practice need to remain attentive,” he stated. “We must continue to prioritize raising awareness, providing education and training, obtaining certification, and consistently strengthening our critical infrastructure.”
According to a report from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, the Philippines ranked as the second most targeted nation for online threats in the previous year, with a staggering 39,387,052 incidents detected. However, in the current year, the country has dropped to fourth place.
According to data gathered by Kaspersky, there were a total of 2,409,085 brute force or trial-and-error attacks targeted at remote workers, 52,914 cases of financial phishing aimed at businesses, 24,737 cases of crypto-phishing, 15,732 instances of mobile malware, and 50 cases of mobile banking Trojan in the previous year.
According to Ronald B. Gustilo, a representative for Digital Pinoys, the Department of Information and Communications Technology should establish a minimum level of cybersecurity infrastructure and guidelines for government entities, particularly those with significant amounts of sensitive information.
In a separate phone message, he stated that it is necessary for these agencies to have more robust cybersecurity systems in place. He also emphasized the importance of all government agencies having teams ready to respond in the event of a potential data breach.
According to Mr. Gustilo, this proactive cybersecurity framework includes the requirement for appropriate funding towards essential technologies and professionals.
During the DevConnect Philippines, Inc. Pro Summit 2023 last Friday, Arvin Yason, managing director of Accenture Philippines, mentioned that it has been effortless to target the Philippines.
According to the speaker, when insuring a certain amount, such as the Philippines’ GDP, one must be prepared to pay a percentage of that amount, typically ranging from 1-5%. This applies to cybersecurity being on par with economic growth.
According to Mr. Jacoba from NADPOP, it is necessary to produce a minimum of 1,800 highly skilled cybersecurity professionals within three years. This number represents 1% of the total 180,000 professionals needed in the country.
He stated that it will be a notable figure that can motivate others to seek careers in cybersecurity.
Next year, Winston L. Damarillo, president of DEVCON, stated to BusinessWorld that efforts to improve skills and create more cybersecurity experts will continue. Additionally, there will also be a push for mainstream implementation of cybersecurity insurance, similar to regulations in the United States.
“Even our VCs [venture capitalists] are now making sure we have cybersecurity insurance,” he said as an entrepreneur as well.
He stated that individuals will receive knowledge, and some may acquire it in a difficult manner, regarding the upcoming year. The awareness surrounding the importance of having strong cybersecurity measures in place will increase.
“Greater collaboration and cooperation among companies is necessary for building resilience. While challenges may become more complex, working together will help us overcome them.”
Furthermore, Mr. Gustilo from Digital Pinoys suggested incorporating cybersecurity into the curriculum for education.
He stated that this subject should be introduced in early education and continued through high school, encompassing discussions on the advantages and disadvantages of technology, cybersecurity, data privacy, and related topics.