DICT to conduct data research for cybersecurity initiatives

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said on Thursday, Sept. 12, that it will focus on acquiring baseline data for the next three years before launching new major programs including cybersecurity.

File photo from DICT shows secretary Gregorio Honasan II (right) and assistant secretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic meeting with US ambassador Sung Kim (foreground, left)

DICT assistant secretary for Digital Philippines Emmanuel Rey R. Caintic said the department needs to have data on hand before embarking on any initiative for the cybersecurity program, such as awareness campaigns as well as the actual projects and services, to ensure effectivity and efficiency.

“When Secretary Gregorio Honasan II came on board last July, we noticed that we lacked baseline data. We will be conducting an extensive survey in the whole government to establish baseline data so that when we launch a program, we’ll know if it’s effective. It’s easy to spend money. It’s another thing to be effective,” he added.

This year, the Unisys Security Index for the Philippines, the overall measure of security concerns of the Philippine public, identified data security as among the top concerns among Filipinos.

Caintic said the survey will be a good validation and starting point for the data research the agency is planning on conducting.

Currently, the DICT is strengthening its cybersecurity programs embedded in the National Cybersecurity Plan 2022 to address cyber threats and problems in the country. The country’s roadmap towards a vision of a cyber resilient Philippines, the plan was designed to come up with programs and policies to protect the government, critical infostructures, businesses and supply chains, and individuals from cyber threats and attacks.

The DICT through the Cybersecurity Bureau is currently on the first phase of implementation in addressing the four key imperatives.

“The road to cyber resiliency will be a long and difficult journey, but we should move ahead. There will be crossroads on choices and DICT will persist in choosing to address the cybersecurity needs of the Filipinos no matter how tough the challenges may seem, through a whole-of-nation approach,” said Jose Carlos Reyes, director of the DICT’s cybersecurity bureau.

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