Trend Micro CTO says firms should have data protection officers

By Edd K. Usman

Saying people are still the best defense against cybercrimes, e-security firm Trend Micro has emphasized the vital need for companies to hire a data protection officer (DPO) to fight cybercriminals.

Trend Micro CTO Raimund Genes during the CloudSec conference in Bonifacio Global City on August 17

Trend Micro CTO Raimund Genes during the CloudSec conference in Bonifacio Global City on August 17

Raimund Genes, global chief technology officer (CTO) of Trend Micro, suggested this during the recently concluded CloudSec, one of the world’s biggest internet security conferences held for the first time in the Philippines.

With international and local cybersecurity experts assembled at the event, the global confab underscored the country’s vulnerability to digital attacks.The forum revolved around the theme of empowering users against cyber-attacks through education on cybersecurity.

Specifically, Genes said people are every organization’s best cybercrime fighters. “Every company needs to have a data protection officer,” he said. “You need to have the right people on your team. All the best strategies and technologies are moot without people.”

Citing the Trend Micro Smart Protection Network, Genes said that in as little as five minutes, cyberattacks could severely impact systems and users by unleashing as many as 1,800 new threats, or expose systems to over 800,000 malicious URLs, malware, and spam email.

The executive observed that in Southeast Asia, there are not enough independent security conferences that do not sell products. In the case of CloudSec, he said the main aim of the event is to raise the level of cybersecurity awareness and to be as vendor-neutral as possible.

“This is why when we look back, when we look at the survey and people say ‘we like it because you didn’t try to sell us the next product from Trend Micro,’ then I say, ‘we did our job’.”

Genes said Trend Micro, which operates a regional research lab in the country, wants to invest more educating the public about cyber-security.

“This conference is not only about making a profit, not only about helping our self, but also educating Filipino companies to invest more in cybersecurity, to educate more on cybersecurity to make the country more resilient in cyber technology,” he said. “That what it is all about, and that’s what motivates my team of researchers here.”

The impact of cyber-attacks also transcends the internet, he said. “Cyber-attacks have crossed over to the real world, and have real-world repercussions. These are real-world crimes with tragic consequences,” he noted.

All is not lost, however, said the German-born executive.

“The good news is that these cyber-attacks can be addressed. There are ways to stop it or, at the very least, minimize their impact on an organization,” said Genes.

No one is safe from internet crimes as shown by headlines around the world detailing the sophistication of the attacks, he said. Victims can be anyone: banks, business enterprises, schools, hospitals, private or private sector organizations, chief executive officers (CEOs), or celebrities.

“We are in the age that if you only have anti-malware solutions, or if you have them just to follow compliance, you are already losing the battle. Having multi-layered security solutions is non-negotiable,” he said.

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