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Enhanced cybersecurity

Manila Standard

We welcome the approval earlier this month by President Marcos Jr. of the National Cybersecurity Plan 2024-2029 that provides the policy direction, operational guidelines in building its cybersecurity posture, as well as the fortification of the country’s cyberspace against online threats.

This plan, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, took a year to draw up.

It is actually a comprehensive plan based on consultations with the different stakeholders from the public and private sectors, including in the academe.

The plan also draws from the experiences of other countries, particularly their thrusts in addressing increased cyber threats.

It seeks to ensure a safe cyber landscape for the country, identifies cyber assets, and provides government agencies and sectors with guidelines on how to respond to cyber-attacks.

The comprehensive plan also incorporates advanced threat assessment so that even before incidents happen, the government could obtain information ahead from its international partners.

Another important component of the plan includes capacity building and upskilling of cybersecurity personnel.

In fact, the DICT said, today there are more than two million job vacancies for cybersecurity. The agency is therefore intensifying its training and capacity building for cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies.

The agency expects that in the next two decades, the Philippines will have one of the biggest and youngest work forces that can address many of the challenges faced by First World countries – their aging population and their lack of manpower in order to meet their economic development.

Apart from upskilling or scaling up its training component, the DICT is also undertaking more information campaigns to make the public aware of different scams perpetrated by cybercriminals.

We certainly need to strengthen our cybersecurity after the DICT recently foiled attempts to attack Philippine government websites and emails. The IP addresses of the hackers were traced to a Chinese state-owned telecommunications company.

The hackers reportedly tried to penetrate email addresses linked to the DICT, Philippine Coast Guard, National Coast Watch and the websites of President Marcos Jr. and Cabinet members.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police is also doing its part to fortify our cybersecurity infrastructure.

Police stations will soon have cybersecurity desks that would handle cybercrimes after the national government ordered an intensified crackdown on cybercrimes that have been on the rise in recent years.

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