Amid Cyber Attacks, Philippines Aims to Become a Regional Digital Hub

Amid Cyber Attacks, Philippines Aims to Become a Regional Digital Hub

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in the Philippines, in collaboration with Digital Pilipinas (DP), has embarked on an ambitious mission to transform the country into a leading cybersecurity hub in the region. This strategic move is in response to the Philippines ranking as the second most targeted nation for cyberattacks worldwide, with each incident causing losses of up to P100 million, according to data from the Philippine National Police.

In the launch ceremony for Cybersecurity Month 2023, DICT Secretary Ivan Uy stressed the importance of a cyber-secure future, stating, “Our goal is to unify sectors, empower and nurture cybersecurity professionals, and assist agencies in safeguarding their data.”

The DICT’s strategy to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity industry includes offering scholarships, essential training, and guidance on protecting information and communication technology (ICT) assets. The establishment of a National Cybersecurity Operations Center is envisioned to further strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity intelligence.

Digital Pilipinas Joins the Cause

Digital Pilipinas, the largest private sector-led initiative aimed at fostering an innovation and technology ecosystem that actively participates in the global digital economy, has partnered with the DICT and its Cybersecurity Bureau to develop and promote a consistent cybersecurity framework. Together, they aim to ensure a more secure digital future for the Philippines.

The theme of Cybersecurity Month 2023, “Sama-Sama para sa Cyberseguridad” or “Together for Cybersecurity,” is designed to inspire collective efforts to build a more digitally secure nation. The launch event gathered government officials, industry leaders, experts, investors, and foreign dignitaries to discuss collaboration for effective cyberattack protocols and defenses.

Usec. Jeffrey Dy, the Undersecretary of the Cybersecurity Bureau at DICT, emphasized the need for collaboration and strengthening the cybersecurity workforce. He stressed that cybersecurity is not just a technical issue but also a human one, and that it affects everyone. The Philippines currently faces a shortage of cybersecurity professionals, making it critical to bridge this gap to protect digital lives and create a more secure cyberspace.

Holistic Approach to Cybersecurity

Throughout Cybersecurity Month, the government will address various themes through a series of engagements and capacity-building training programs supported by different government agencies. Key topics include consumer protection in the banking and financial industry, policy and law enforcement, citizen-facing services, and international cooperation.

Key industry players and cybersecurity champions will participate in various activities during the month. These collaborative efforts will culminate in the TrustTech and Cybersecurity Festival during the Digital Pilipinas Festival Year 2, scheduled for November 20-24, 2023.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed by DICT Secretary Ivan Uy and Usec. Jeffrey Dy with Amor Maclang, Convenor of Digital Pilipinas, signifies a joint commitment to building a more secure and digitally safer Philippines. This year’s Digital Pilipinas Festival is expected to be a major gathering of industry players, national line agencies, and country delegations, fostering collaborative progress.

A Safer Digital Future for All Filipinos

The safety of the nation’s cyberspace impacts not only professionals and corporations but also the general population. MTRCB Chairperson Dioerella “Lala” Sotto, in partnership with DICT, emphasized the importance of unity and cooperation among stakeholders, including parents, educators, creators, and technology providers, to create a safer, more responsible, and empowering digital future for all Filipinos.

With government officials, industry leaders, and key stakeholders working together to bolster the nation’s defenses against cyberattacks, the Philippines aims to protect its digital future, saving time, money, and resources that would otherwise fall into the hands of malicious actors. To be a part of this mission and contribute to a more secure digital future, you can join the Digital Pilipinas Festival x Philippine Fintech Festival Year 2 through this link: Digital Pilipinas Festival.

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