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Public-private partnerships to deter cyberattacks

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STRONGER public-private partnerships on cybersecurity can help protect Asia from against global and domestic online threats, leaders of Philippine cybersecurity and data protection communities attending the ongoing ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Technical Working Group joint meeting in Cambodia said on Wednesday.

“A harmonious whole-of-Asia and whole-of-society approach to fight cyber threats in the region has to be orchestrated among government and private sector leaders in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan, along with other countries in the region,” Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT) President Lito Averia said in a statement.

Mr. Averia said Asian countries face similar threats, adding that their respective governments’ digital infrastructure along with Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) are constantly attacked by international and local threat actors.

National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP) Founding President Sam Jacoba said an Information Exchange Network will serve as a cyber weather station that will receive, verify, and send out threat alerts to affected regions.

According to PH-CERT and NADPOP, the country needs 180,000 trained and validated cybersecurity professionals to guard its CIIs. A similar number is needed for data privacy, governance, risk and compliance professionals in the country.

PH-CERT and NADPOP are also attending the fifth board meeting of the newly-formed ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Community Alliance (AJCCA), a community event happening alongside the working group meeting.

Meanwhile, the 2nd Public-Private Cooperation meeting between AJCCA and government cybersecurity representatives from ASEAN and Japan focused on the five pillars of the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) by the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, namely legal, technical, organizational, capacity building, and cooperation.

Mr. Averia and Mr. Jacoba said joint initiatives between the government and private sector will be rolled out soon as the main output of these quarterly regional meetings. These initiatives seek to address gaps in the GCI Cybersecurity Pillars for each country and the whole region.

“When government and private sector organizations work hand-in-hand to fight cyber threats, citizens will benefit the most,” Mr. Averia said.

“What is emerging through these meetings is a regional force for good that will serve as a shield for countries and citizens against threat actors, who are now using AI in their attacks. We are inviting all active Communities of Practice in the region to collaborate with our regional community, the AJCCA, as threat actors are also organized in their actions. During these times, we truly need a whole-of-region, whole-of-society, and even whole-of-community cooperation to effectively respond to cyber threats,” Mr. Jacoba added. — A.R.A. Inosante

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