Home Top News A clearer direction towards a digitally secured space

A clearer direction towards a digitally secured space

by
0 comment
Experts assessed the status of cybersecurity in the Philippines in a panel discussion of this year’s BusinessWorld Economic Forum held last May 22.

The foundation of a flourishing digital economy relies on two things: secure the cyberspace and building trust among its users. While the digital space is making life easier for Filipinos, risks exist and increasing; and both the public and private sector calls for action to address such risks as early as now.

In a panel discussion of this year’s BusinessWorld Economic Forum held last May 22, experts assessed the status of cybersecurity in the Philippines and explored the actions that should be done moving forward.

Ingrid Beroña, chief risk officer at GCash

The Philippines is among the top country with the most digital users in the world. The country’s economy is revolving around the digital space, from banking to retail to entertainment; and, as a result, Filipinos heavily rely on this digital space.

As the country is playing catch-up with digitalization efforts, there is still a lot to uncover in the digital landscape.

Chito Jacinto, vice-president and chairman of membership and events at Information Security Officers Group (ISOG) and Ingrid Beroña, chief risk officer at GCash, pointed out that the Philippines is at the learning process and at an early stage of cybersecurity maturity.

“At this point, we just passed through the infancy stage. But then, we’re just trying to keep up with the digitalization efforts, because cybersecurity is in support of the digital efforts of every business. Whatever level there is for the infrastructure, you can expect that cybersecurity cannot exceed what the digitalization phase has actually achieved,” Mr. Jacinto said.

While the digital era has brought many benefits to the country, the Philippines opens itself up to cyber risks as it leans more on digitalization.

Alexander Ramos, executive director of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), and Police Colonel Jay Guillermo, chief of the Cyber Response Unit at the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG), stressed during the discussion that fast transactions challenge them in securing the digital space.

Another challenge noted by the panel is the lack of regulations that support each other.

“One regulatory body will tell you that you cannot share this information, and another regulatory body will tell you to share this type of information, so that other institution may learn from it. And there’s just not enough policies and law out there around cybersecurity. This is a space where we can develop more,” Ms. Beroña of GCash said.

Solutions to implement

As suggested by the panelists, stronger cybersecurity solutions should be enforced to address cyber risks.

Alexander Ramos, executive director of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center

For Mr. Ramos of CICC, more security options in transactions should be provided to individuals.

“As far as the private sector is concerned, everybody is competing with speed,” he said. “I believe we have to give the consumers the upper hand. We have to give them control for their transactions. We’re asking to give more control to the consumer, especially focusing on options on security.”

For businesses, meanwhile, a strong IT infrastructure is needed to ensure they are digitally secured. ISOG’s Mr. Jacinto cited three important factors businesses need when implementing IT infrastructure.

“IT infrastructure is dependent on three things: people, process, and technology. If any of these three fails, your infrastructure fails as well,” he said.

Significant roles to play   

Chito Jacinto, vice-president and chairman of membership and events at Information Security Officers Group

In response to the call for giving individuals more power in securing themselves in the digital world, GCash has been providing several services and products that are centered on cybersecurity, as Ms. Beroña noted.

GCash has employed cybersecurity solutions that allow end-users to protect their personal data, as well as their financial transactions. These solutions include features like a double safe that checks every change of devices in the app; a real-time self-application protection for modifying devices; one device nomination; a ‘one device only’ policy; and suspension and freezing of accounts.

GCash also keeps updating its security protocols while remaining vigilant against emerging threats to ensure the safety and security of the financial information and transactions of its users.

GCash has also strengthened its encryption for a more secured connection with other platforms, providers, and merchants and an educational campaign, which is vital towards end-users to help them become well-informed about various online scams.

Furthermore, it has been leveraging on artificial intelligence to combat cybercrime and ensure that the cyberspace is safe.

“I know that fraudsters and even perpetrators also need a tool that could be used to move forward. Artificial intelligence (AI) has actually helped us a lot in ensuring that our space is safe,” Ms. Beroña said.

Police Colonel Jay Guillermo, chief of the Cyber Response Unit at the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group

Meanwhile, PNP ACG’s Mr. Guillermo said the public sector has taken steps to prevent online scams by implementing laws and policies. As a result, he emphasized that the cybercrime rate plummeted from 40-50% to 20% in the previous years.

CICC’s Mr. Ramos, noted that the government is taking swift action in establishing policies and regulations that will safeguard the cyberspace.

“We have existing regulators ensuring that the users are protected, but we are still asking Congress for more,” he said. “We want the laws pertaining to cyberspace [to] have flexibility because of the rapid changes in technology. The law itself must be flexible to adapt to emerging trends or issues.”

Investing in public-private partnerships also plays a crucial role in detecting fraudulent activities. GCash, for its part, is working with local authorities to ensure security in the cyber space.

“We have a good relationship with local authorities, and they are working with us to ensure that the space is secure. If the money is still in GCash, we do our best effort to return that money. However, if the money is out of GCash, what we can do is support putting these perpetrators behind bars and that’s why we work with our local authorities on that,” Ms. Beroña said.

Spotlight is BusinessWorld’s sponsored section that allows advertisers to amplify their brand and connect with BusinessWorld’s audience by publishing their stories on the BusinessWorld Web site. For more information, send an email to online@bworldonline.com.

Join us on Viber at https://bit.ly/3hv6bLA to get more updates and subscribe to BusinessWorld’s titles and get exclusive content through www.bworld-x.com.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment