CYBERSECURITY MONTH KICK-OFF. The Department of Information and Communications Technology and its Cybersecurity Bureau forged a partnership with Digital Pilipinas (DP) to upskill and strengthen the professional cybersecurity industry in the country.  Shown in photo in the middle left are Digital Pilipinas Convenor Amor Maclang, DICT Sec. Ivan Uy, and Usec Jeff Dy as they sign the memorandum of understanding, signifying their commitment to work together in building a more secure and digitally safer Philippines.

In support of the national government’s objective to strategically position the country as a leading cybersecurity hub, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and its Cybersecurity Bureau, in partnership with Digital Pilipinas (DP), have formally sealed their commitment to building a roadmap for a more secure digital future for the Philippines.  

This comes in the face of the Philippines being 2nd in the world when it comes to the number of recorded cyberattacks, losing up to P100 million in each instance, according to data provided by the Philippine National Police.   

In today’s Cybersecurity Month 2023 Kick-off ceremony, DICT Secretary Ivan Uy said, “The DICT pushes for a cybersecure future. Our goal is to unify these sectors, capacitate and nurture cybersecurity professionals, and assist agencies in protecting their data.”  

On how the DICT intends to support its drive to upskill and strengthen the country’s professional cybersecurity industry, Sec. Uy mentioned, “We will offer scholarships and programs, essential trainings, and assist in orienting them on protecting ICT assets. We will achieve this cybersecurity intelligence with the establishment of a National Cybersecurity Operations Center.”   

This year, Digital Pilipinas, now the largest private sector-led movement for creating an innovation and technology ecosystem that is actively engaged in a global digital economy through its domestic and international trajectories, has teamed up with the DICT and its Cybersecurity Bureau to actively develop and promote a consistent cybersecurity framework.   

Cybersecurity Month 2023 is anchored on the theme, “Sama-Sama para sa Cyberseguridad” which aims to inspire and initiate collective efforts in Cybersecurity for a more digitally healthy future for the country.   

The kick-off event gathered government officials, industry leaders, various experts in their respective fields, investors, and foreign dignitaries to join the conversation on how to collaborate efficiently and develop truly effective cyberattack protocols and defenses. Under the guidance of Secretary Ivan Uy, the DICT and its Cybersecurity Bureau have continued to champion the latest cybersecurity initiatives in partnership with various organizations from both the public and private sectors, as well as several dedicated cybersecurity champions.  

Emphasizing the point about working together with key stakeholders in the government and other interested parties who want to offer support, Uy continued, “We call for unity and collaboration among the public and private sectors.”  

United on All Cyber Fronts  

One of the biggest champions of cybersecurity in the Philippines is none other than the DICT’s own Undersecretary of the Cybersecurity Bureau, Usec. Jeffrey Dy. He delivered the opening remarks at the event where he underlined the importance of being open to collaboration and strengthening the cybersecurity workforce to achieve the country’s greater cybersecurity goals.   

“Let us remember that cybersecurity is not just a technical issue, but also a human one,” said Dy. ” It affects all of us, and we must bridge the gap between technical expertise and public understanding to make cybersecurity accessible and understandable to everyone, so that we can protect our digital lives and create a more secure and reliable cyberspace.”  

This is especially timely as recent data shows that there is a lack of cybersecurity professionals in the country. To be more specific, there are indeed Filipino cybersecurity professionals, but there is a great need for more of them now and in the future.  

During the month-long celebration, the government’s holistic approach to cybersecurity will highlight various themes through a series of engagements, as well as capacity-building trainings that will be held through the support of different government agencies. Among the pertinent themes within cyberspace, the movement will focus on consumer protection in banking and financial institution industry, policy and law enforcement, citizen-facing services and platforms, and international cooperation.   

Key industry players and cybersecurity champions, including co-convenors of DP, will take part in the different activities during the Cybersecurity Month. For the kick-off event, an expert panel discussion was attended by industry leaders, namely John Paz, Enterprise Information Security Officer and Data Privacy Officer, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI); Roberto Tayag, CEO APAC, CyberQ Group; Stephanie Tower, Business Development Lead, nChain; Martin Peñaflor, CEO and Co-founder, Tangere, and Usec. Jeff Dy, DICT Cybersecurity Bureau. 

Working Toward a More Digitally Safe Philippines  

Organized by the DICT Cybersecurity Bureau and DP, Cybersecurity Month will serve as the lead up to the inaugural TrustTech and Cybersecurity Festival, happening during the upcoming Digital Pilipinas Festival Year 2, which is set to run from November 20-24, at the SMX Aura Convention Center and in various co-located venues and innovation hubs across the country.   

To seal the partnership with Digital Pilipinas, DICT Sec. Uy and Usec. Dy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Amor Maclang, Convenor, Digital Pilipinas, Digital ASEAN, and Digital Pilipinas Festival, signifying a joint commitment to build a more secure and digitally safer Philippines.   

The upcoming Digital Pilipinas Festival represents the largest push for more initiatives, collaborations and investments to the Philippines, in partnership with the DICT and several national line agencies. Now in its second year, it is expected to be the biggest gathering of industry players and country delegations, likely raising the bar for collaborative progress.   

“We feel so strongly about supporting the DICT under the leadership of Secretary Ivan Uy because the digital transformation of the Philippines today requires us to celebrate how we will move together in a whole-of-nation, whole-of-government, whole-of-business approach.”  

The safety of the nation’s cyberspace affects not just professional and corporate users, but also the end-user population. MTRCB Chairperson Dioerella “Lala” Sotto shared their commitment before signing a Memorandum of Agreement with Sec. Ivan Uy and Usec. Jeff Dy of the DICT. “Our partnership is an invitation to all stakeholders, including parents, educators, creators, and technology providers, to unite and create a safer, more responsible, and more empowering digital future for all Filipinos,” said Sotto. 

With top industry players, government officials, and key stakeholders working together to boost the country’s defenses against cyberattacks, and helping to develop present and future cybersecurity initiatives, the Philippines can save time, money, and resources that would otherwise go to bad actors. Help us build a more secure digital future for the Philippines – join the Digital Pilipinas Festival x Philippine Fintech Festival Year 2 through this link: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *