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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Filipino companies conscious of cybersecurity threats

Filipino companies increase cybersecurity budget

MANILA – Filipino businesses remain confident and proactive in facing cybersecurity issues in the ASEAN region.

This was how the most recent study made by Palo Alto Networks, a global security leader, revealed looking into businesses attitudes towards cybersecurity concerns in the region. The study covered Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. The survey was made in February prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One in two companies in the Philippines (54%) increased their cybersecurity budget compared to 2019 while almost half of the businesses or 43% allotted most of its appropriations for Information Technology to cybersecurity. The shift was attributed to the need to upgrade existing security frameworks to automated technologies (67%), a growing volume of cyberthreats (63%), and the result of cyber risk assessment (57%).

“It’s encouraging to see that Philippine companies are consistent in giving due importance and attention to cybersecurity. This underscores businesses’ growing awareness on the importance of preventing successful cyberattacks that have the potential to disrupt businesses, as we’ve seen in recent years,” thus said Oscar Visaya, Palo Alto’s country manager for the Philippines.

He explained with the COVId-19 pandemic, businesses will need to navigate the newfound risks brought by remote work and other COVID-19-themed threats. He added it is imperative for companies to review their cybersecurity strategies and investments.

With the current solutions including anti-malware and antivirus tools (86%) and the next generation firewalls (59%), about half of the respondents surveyed or 47% said they have begun investing in cloud native security. The Philippines sits in a respectable sport in terms of cloud adoption in Asia-Pacific, in ninth place in Asia Cloud Computing Association’s 2018 Cloud Readiness Index.

It was found out that more companies across the country connect offices and staff to cloud infrastructure. With the growing enterprise to curb cyberattacks, challenges still remain. The biggest obstacle is the employees’ lack of awareness on cybersecurity (58%), which definitely makes organizations more vulnerable to internal cyberthreats. Risks also come from third-party service providers and suppliers, making companies increasingly vulnerable (45%), while IT departments have other priorities on which to focus (33%).

Filipino companies into Finance, Transport and Public Sectors are reviewing their standing operating procedures. In the survey, 98% of Philippine companies disclosed they have updated their cybersecurity policies and SOPs at least once a year. It has been reported most companies support transparency in cyberthreats with 98% supporting mandatory reporting of data breaches to authorities in compliance with guidelines set by the National Privacy Commission.

About 83% of Philippine companies claim they check their computers monthly to ensure data protection software is up to date. Some 93% of Filipino companies communicate their cybersecurity procedures with their staff. Less than half of the Filipino companies believe their company is susceptible to cyberattacks, which is in accordance with the country’s high scores for confidence. (Melo M. Acuña)

Palo Alto country manager for the Philippines Oscar Visaya. (Contributed Photo)

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