PH must invest more on security to fight cyber crimes, external threats

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By Rizal Raoul Reyes

The Philippines faces heightened level of rude activity from a variety of actors such as nation-states as well as cybercrimes.

Bryce Boland, chief technology officer for Asia Pacific of FireEye
Bryce Boland, chief technology officer for Asia Pacific of FireEye

Bryce Boland, chief technology officer for Asia Pacific of FireEye, urged the country to put on a significant investment in terms of financial and human resources to fight the growing threat of cybercrime.

?In terms what needs to be done to address, it is clearly significant investment across the board. In the government level, there needs to be more policy, development of capability to develop detections on the spot to some security breaches,” Boland said in an interview with Newsbytes.PH held in Makati City.

“It also needs to private organizations as well government agencies to be more proactive in some security issues, controlling patch, predicting text, investigating and responding to attacks and ensure the information gathered in the attack can be studied for the future,? he said.

?Philippine organizations face some of the most intense and daunting cyber security threats we see in Asia, and we don?t expect them to recede in the near future. The current geopolitical climate in the region has generated significant uncertainty, and governments are turning to cyber espionage operations to glean more insights in order to alleviate this uncertainty,? Boland added.

As far as the Philippines is concerned, Boland said it is the middle category on the level of cyber security. To be fair, he said the Philippine government is implementing steps to improve the condition.

He said last year saw a big change in the Philippines as the government has become more aware on the importance of a robust and strong cyber security capability.

?We will see that happening as government brings in more capabilities to the table to be able to respond to the threats,? Boland explained.

Boland said mature organizations that are dependent on technology have also established a chief security officer position to ensure there is a dedicated individual together with a team of technical experts who can handle security network operations.

?It is also recognition that security problems are not technical problems but already business problems,? Boland said.

Meanwhile, FireEye reported that cyber espionage actors, which it calls APT32, are carrying out intrusions into private sector companies across multiple industries and have also targeted foreign governments, dissidents, and journalists.

Furthermore, the company said APT32 uses a unique suite of fully-featured malware, combining it with commercially-available tools, to conduct targeted operations that are aligned with Vietnamese state interests.

It said this group remains very active, and the earliest attacks on Philippine organizations the company is aware of date to last year.

In 2016, APT32 targeted a subsidiary of a Philippine consumer products corporation and a Philippine technology infrastructure company. The group also targeted Philippine government agencies.

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