February 9, 2023

Filipino Guardian

Sentinels of Filipino Free Press

[EXPLAINER | Cybersecurity] “Everyone is a Likely Target”: Cybersecurity for Businesses Large and Small

Follow us on Spotify BusinessWorld B-side

Organizations of all sizes need to improve their cybersecurity, says Angel T. Redoble, founder and chair of the Philippine Institute of Cybersecurity Professionals (PICSPros) and first vice president and group chief information security officer of the PLDT Group.

“Everyone is a potential target. We all have something that cyberattackers want,” Mr. Redoble tells BusinessWorld reporter Patricia B. Mirasol in this B-side episode.

TAKE ALONG

Businesses, large or small, are vulnerable to cyberattacks.

The Department of Commerce and Industry reported this October that the number of e-commerce sellers in the Philippines rose to 2 million, up from the forecast of 750,000.

Those sellers are all vulnerable targets, Mr Redoble said, and should take the necessary precautions to secure personal customer data.

“It’s an endless struggle,” he said. “Cybercriminals could get the upper hand… the moment we stop.”

He advised “maximum level or paranoia” when backing up data.

End users cannot protect themselves.

Technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and 5G improve the user experience, but also expand a system’s attack surface. The challenge for organizations is to adapt to these advances and maintain a sufficient level of cybersecurity.

“You can’t expect users to be able to protect themselves,” he told BusinessWorld. “Very few are technically savvy. Few understand security. A majority just want to experience comfort.”

Education is the key.

To demystify the abstract concept of cybersecurity, Mr. Redoble founded the non-profit advocacy group Philippine Institute of Cybersecurity Professionals (PICSPros), which offers free training and awareness-raising activities on its social media platforms to “improve the knowledge and skills of the community, [and] protect against cyber threats.”

Juniper Research estimates that cyber attacks will cost businesses around the world $8 trillion between 2017 and 2022. But even more worrying is how these cyber attackers have disrupted lives and impacted communities, Mr Redoble said.

“More than the companies, the government agencies and the other organizations, children are the most important asset in our society,” he added. “Cybersecurity should play a crucial role in protecting our very important assets… and there’s no better way to do that than to educate parents.”

Recorded on location in Pasay City on October 6th. Produced by Joseph Emmanuel L. Garcia, Earl R. Lagundino and Sam L. Marcelo.