Kaspersky Lab says PH needs to form elite force of cyber warriors

By Rizal Raoul Reyes

The Philippines needs to form an elite force of cyber defense specialists to fight the growing threat of cyberterrorism.

Kaspersky Lab chief security researcher Vitaly Kamluk (right) with DICT secretary Rudy Salalima during the recent CyberSecurity Summit 2017

Kaspersky Lab chief security researcher Vitaly Kamluk (right) with DICT secretary Rudy Salalima during the recent CyberSecurity Summit 2017

In a press briefing, Kaspersky Lab chief security researcher Vitaly Kamluk said fighting cyber terrorism requires a small group that has special skills in cyber warfare to keep pace with the way cyber terrorists operate.

“Cyberterrorists operate in small groups and the ideal way is to form an elite force that can fight head-to-head against them,” Kamluk pointed out.

Kamluk suggested the Philippines should encourage young and talented software programmers to join the program to form the core of the team.

“Given the proper training and guidance by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), they can be a formidable force against cyberterrorism,” Kamluk pointed out.

In his presentation, Kamluk revealed that the Philippines is now the eighth (8th) most attacked country by mobile malware in 2016.

According to the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), over three-in-10 (34.97%) Filipinos with smartphones have been infected by this type of threat last year.

Stephan Neumeier, managing director at Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific, said the country should accelerate building its cyber defense capabilities because it becoming an attractive target of cybercriminals given its strong economic performance and a huge online population.

“As one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia Pacific region, it is undoubtedly high-time for the Philippines to tackle cybersecurity seriously. Its impressive economic numbers and its growing, active online population make the country a ripe target in the eyes of cybercriminals,” Neumeier said.

“As a private company actively working with governments and police officers around the world against online crimes, Kaspersky Lab is more than willing to help the Philippine government spread cybersecurity awareness among Filipinos and thwart cybercrimes by sharing our expertise and understanding about information security,” he added.

Meanwhile, the DICT also released a department order that are fundamental to the implementation of the National CyberSecurity Plan 2022 (NCSP) which will ensure the protection of government networks, critical infrastructures, and individuals.

The NCSP was recently launched as the government’s program to beef up the country’s cybersecurity capabilities.

“Cybersecurity should have a national approach. We must work together to attain a cyber-resilient Philippines,” said Allan Cabanlong, assistant secretary for cybersecurity at the DICT.

Neumeier added awareness on the perils of online activities should be enhanced by the DICT and the citizens as well.

“The latest figures from the Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index revealed 50% of Filipino digital users are still unaware of online dangers. In our Kaspersky Security Network report alone, some 16 thousand Internet-borne malware infections were detected on computers of Filipino users with Kaspersky Lab products from April to June this year,” said Neumeier.

The reported infections were either through visiting infected websites or downloading malicious files to the computer, he said.

With cyber threats aimed at businesses of all sizes anywhere, the executive said there’s now an even more resounding call for enterprises to have security policies that go beyond software to also include educating its people to strengthen the the security of the organization.

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