PH needs to strengthen cybersecurity – experts

A CYBERSECURITY company based in South Korea said that cybersecurity solutions in the Philippines need to keep up with the country’s rapidly evolving digital transformation.

This was expressed at the recently concluded First CyberSecPhil (CSP) Conference 2023 held in Manila earlier this month.

“There’s no doubt that digitalization in the Philippines is heading in the right direction,” said Hochul Shin, chief executive of Netand, an information technology (IT) services and IT consulting company that provides solutions for privileged access management (PAM). “In fact, the pandemic may have accelerated the country’s digital transformation. Now that the world is slowly ushering in a post-pandemic era, the global market is paying attention to access management solutions, since major IT infrastructure systems require thorough control and management of user access and authority. It is, therefore, imperative for the Philippines to fast-track its cybersecurity infrastructure and policies.”

In the recent Digital Report, a global survey done by We Are Social, the Philippines is said to have recorded 68-percent internet penetration rate, which roughly represented more than 76 million Filipino internet users as of 2022. While the World’s Competitive Ranking from IMD World Competitiveness Center showed the country’s digital competitiveness improved last year, with knowledge and technology taking 62nd and 54th spots, respectively, the Philippines’ ITU Global Security Index, however, placed the country 61st out of 194 countries.

The South Korean executive noted that the rapid digitalization could also serve as an “entry point for cyber threats to evolve, making digital trust a big concern.” “… An efficient solution and infrastructure are essential in combating cyber threats and ensuring business survival.”

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In recent years, particularly at the height of the pandemic, contactless and digital payments were one of the advancements that the Philippines adopted. However, the IT executive cautioned that “security risks may surge as demands for third-party payment providers are expected to increase in the coming years.” Further stating that several key factors play a critical role in maintaining operational security such as ensuring that the information security management system is properly screened, thus protecting payment methods.

At the cybersecurity conference, Netand demonstrated its flagship product dubbed Hiware. Shin said the product is “an industry-leading solution that is widely used by financial and government institutions in Korea to protect information from internal and external security threats such as information leakage.”

The First CSP Conference 2023 gathered 150 cybersecurity experts from various sectors in the Philippines to discuss and debate the problems and solutions associated with its digitalization.

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