Home Top News ​Investing in cybersecurity makes businesses sustainable — experts

​Investing in cybersecurity makes businesses sustainable — experts

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PHILIPPINE BUSINESSES should invest in cybersecurity and emerging technologies as cyberattacks and threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, industry experts said on Tuesday.

“Companies that have matured cybersecurity initiatives have more sustainable business. It gives positive revenue in terms of brand reputation, revenue, operational sustainability, employee acquisition, and retention,” Globe Business Senior Director for Business Development Marlon Cruz said during a panel discussion at a BusinessWorld Insights event on “Emerging Technologies in Enhancing Cybersecurity” held on Tuesday.

Mr. Cruz said one out of four firms in the country is exposed to cyberattacks including malware, phishing, and password-related breaches.

Cybersecurity is a business and economic enabler as lapses can cause business downtime and disruption, Renne Barcelona, cybersecurity leader at IBM Consulting Philippines, said at the same event.

“Security is embedded. It’s a collaborative effort of everyone in the organization. It has to be talked about… trickled down to the implementers, at the management level,” ISACA Manila Chapter President Raymond Reglos added.

GCash Chief Information Security Officer Miguel Geronilla said businesses should decentralize cybersecurity and eliminate the notion that it is solely the concern of chief information security officers.

“It’s everybody’s responsibility,” Mr. Geronilla said.

Besides training employees and investing in cybersecurity solutions, ISACA’s Mr. Reglos said firms should also vet their third-party contracts and agreements.

“A lot of known attacks right now target the third parties. What level of access are you providing? Do you even have your data sharing and data storage outsourcing agreements?,” he said.

Mr. Reglos said emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain can help analyze and detect anomalies in real time and significantly faster than human analysts with the right configuration.

However, the human factor has to evolve as well, he noted.

“Assess what they can do more while looking at emerging technologies… The use of AI may be beneficial to companies, especially if it’s aligned with their business needs through their business models,” Tonik Digital Bank, Inc. Chief Information Security Officer Catherine Ann Paleracio said during the same panel.

For his part, Department of Information and Communications Technology Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Renato A. Paraiso said the proposed Cyber Security Act that is currently pending in Congress aims to cement the government’s commitment to preventing and combating cybersecurity offenses through detection, investigation, prosecution, and international cooperation.

This bill is a part of the National Cybersecurity Plan 2023-2028.

Several Philippine businesses and government agencies were recently reported to have been hit by cyberattacks targeting sensitive data of millions of individuals.

A 2023 Palo Alto Networks report showed the Philippines was hit by the highest number of cyberattacks in Southeast Asia.

Palo Alto Networks’ 2023 State of Cybersecurity ASEAN report said 29% of Filipino organizations experienced an increase in cybersecurity-related incidents of 50% or more, with 51% feeling that they are at high risk from threats.

The cyberattacks that affected businesses in the country included malware (66%), phishing and spear-phishing attacks (63%), and password attacks (56%), the report said. — Aubrey Rose A. Inosante

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