By Espie Angelica A. de Leon
The partnership between risk management firm Blackpanda, Japanese tech giant NTT, and Hongkong-based insurance provider Jing An Special Risks is slated to change the face of cybersecurity in the Philippines as it makes the first comprehensive and integrated solutions available to the local market.
Blackpanda’s suite of cybersecurity products and services include localized solutions for security risk management, integrated cyber solutions, crisis response, security risk consulting, and specialty consulting, at international standards.
With the help of its new partners, the company further beefs up its services in the face of increasing cyberattacks around the globe.
With Jing An onboard, it also provides bespoke cyber insurance policies for a full range of potential losses following a cyberattack. The insurance provider specializes in high-risk areas and industries, thus is capable of addressing attacks that are not just growing in number but are also getting more sophisticated.
On top of these, the crisis management and security consulting firm solidifies its expertise with its team of consultants, some of whom worked in international military special forces in the world’s most high-risk areas.
“We’ve operated at the state level of this threat, both in the physical realm, in the human realm, but also in the cyber realm,” said Blackpanda Philippines managing director Kevin McCaffrey. “That’s really the level of expertise that is being brought in the Philippines.”
Explaining the human realm, he said, “You have to have a team that understands human risks. Who is this person? Who was in the room last night? Let’s tag it to the access control RFID panels. Who logged in? Who logged out? You have to put on your Sherlock Holmes.
“Just like cameras and CCTV, they’re great eyes in the sky. But if you don’t have a human that’s behind the wheel driving it and integrating that, it’s not as well utilized,” added McCaffrey who served in the US special forces specializing in Asian and Middle Eastern theaters of combat.
According to him, the top five industries in the Philippines that are most at risk of cyberattacks are financial services, technology, healthcare, retail/hospitality, and telecommunication. Within the next few years, the utilities, power, oil and gas sectors, may follow suit.
“Telecommunication is especially interesting because it’s a geopolitical concern. When nations look to attack each other, they attack critical infrastructure and power and telecommunication are the two big ones,” he revealed.
The latest Kaspersky Lab study indicates that the Philippines was a leading target for both direct and proxy cyberattacks in 2018.
The Asia Pacific (APAC) region itself lags behind the rest of the world in terms of cybersecurity awareness and preparedness, prompting cyberattack instigators to shift their focus from the US, where security measures are now stronger, to APAC.
In 2017, dwell time in APAC averaged at 498 days as compared to the international average of 101 days. In the US, the average is 75 days.