Top e-security vendors to PH: Take threats seriously

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By Edd K. Usman

One after the other, some of the world’s top security vendors have visited the Philippines to discuss and convey that security threats are serious issues that should not be taken for granted.

Gavin Chow, network security strategist of Fortinet for Asia Pacific region, discusses the seriousness of cyber threats across the cyber world, including in the Philippines
Gavin Chow, network security strategist of Fortinet for Asia Pacific region, discusses the seriousness of cyber threats across the cyber world, including in the Philippines

The latest to point this out is Fortinet, a US-based provider of security solutions for the enterprise sector. Before Fortinet, a host of security firms like Trend Micro and Sophos also stressed the increasing number of threats in the country and the need for a concerted action on this menace on the internet.

Gavin Chow, network security strategist of Fortinet for the Asia Pacific region, pointed out that the Philippines — having the 12th largest population in the world with over 100 million people — has a big chance of being attacked and infected due to the large number of smartphone and computer users.

“I think most people now (in the Philippines) have some form of internet access. So, as long as you have internet access, there is always that chance of translating that computing logic into (something) malicious,” said Chow.

The executive said that from a hacker’s perspective, attacking a population that has a lot of these computing devices can translate into “a lucrative business”.

He said these are some of the reasons why the Philippines is one of the key countries in terms of global cyber security perspective.

Chow and other Fortinet executives were in the country for the symposium on the ?Top 10 Prevailing Threats in the Philippines.?

In his lecture, Chow presented data on internet threats as compiled by FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet’s in-house security research and response team.

He said on a per minute timetable, there are 35,000 threat events; 21,000 intercepted spam emails; 550,000 resisted network intrusions; 130,000 neutralized malware programs; 180,000 blocked malicious websites; 44,000 thwarted botnet and C&C attempts; and 43 million website categorization requests.

On a per week basis, there are 46 million new and updated spam rules; 100 intrusion prevention rules generated; 1.8 million new and updated anti-virus definitions; 1.4 million new URL ratings; and 8,000 hours of threat research globally, he said.

On the whole, Chow said FortiGuard’s total database so far has 240 terabytes of threat samples; 18,000 intrusion prevention rules; 5,800 application control rules; 250 million rated websites in 78 categories; and 320 zero-day threats discovered since 2006.

He emphasized that cyber threats are always evolving and are not going away anytime soon as their telemetry showed.

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