PNP personnel join Interpol in cybersecurity forum

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The Philippine National Police (PNP) joined other law enforcement agencies including Interpol as participants at a recently concluded cybersecurity forum held in Manila.

The annual Decode PH cybersecurity event organized by Trend Micro reportedly drew thousands of attendees in a three-day run last week.

Trend Micro director for threat hunting and training Alma Alvarez earlier said “about 3000” were expected to sign up for the yearly event, which highlights the latest trends and developments in the area of cybersecurity.

This year’s Decode PH drew a noticeably higher number of law enforcement personnel, particularly from the cybercrime division of the PNP.

The topics discussed in the conference included changing digital infrastructures, cybersecurity, privacy as well as emerging cyberthreats such as the latest malware.

Although the biggest difference is that this year’s cybersecurity conference is virtual, Alvarez said cybersecurity experts, tech personnel, MIS managers, etc. from around the Philippines signed up.

Alvarez said the Decode PH conference started in 2017 and was primarily meant to “fill in the skill gap” of cybersecurity professionals experts in the Philippines. The earlier iterations of the event drew mostly students and educational institutions.

But this year, there has been a more varied “profiles” of attendees.

Alvarez added that Covid-19 also changed “everything” including the tech industry particularly cybersecurity.

The pandemic compelled many companies to set up work-from-home arrangements, which in itself, presents major security issues.

Jay Yaneza, Trend Micro director for managed XDR, said there has to be some “security policies” for work-from-home set-ups.

He urged individuals working from home to realize that threats will always be there. He noted that for most cases, “the router is the single most important piece of machinery in your home” and that security should be in place to protect “this chain.”

Trend Micro earlier said the need for any business to transform has become urgently necessary, more especially with the abrupt and unexpected emergence of the “new normal” brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company warned that as numerous businesses are forced to streamline or even halt their operations, it is not surprising that cybercriminals continuously thrive, even more creatively and strategically than ever.

“The pandemic did not just change the way businesses — and subsequently, their employees — operate; the nature of certain criminal activities have also changed in this time of isolation,” the company earlier said.

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