Toady is a day to be concerned about your cyber hygiene. In the Philippines alone, cyber attacks have risen without discrimination; targets included enterprises, the government, and even homes. With the Australian Strategic Policy Institute ranking the Philippines as the least “cyber mature” country in Southeast Asia, the need for increased cyber-security measures is apparent. Aiding the country in a collective effort to gain stronger cyber maturity, globally trusted security leader, Mcafee, and its local distributor, Wordtext Inc. (WSI), shared their plans and efforts to combat emerging cyber attacks last May 25 at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati.
A big lesson is to be learned about the recent global cyber-attacks. Dissecting the escalation of the recent Wannacry virus that created a massive disruption to enterprises’ workflow, Gavin Struthers, McAfee senior vice president and president of Asia Pacific, shared the tri-factor of the said attack: First, it was a known vulnerability that was exploited; second, 2 exploits were stolen from the NSA to create the Exploit; lastly, when the virus perpetrated, there was no human intervention involved, thus implying worm like activity. He further noted the escalated invasiveness was due to the fact that it was the first time a worm and a ransomware was packaged as one.
Further elaborating on the issue, Struthers shared how time was of an essence when it comes to responding to threats in cyber landscapes that lack fortified security; a significant amount of time is consumed when knowing you were compromised and when actually responding to the threat. It all boils down to shortening the limited time allocated to create a patch.
Improving the Philippines’ Weak Cyber Security Status
As with all things that concern cyber-security measures, prevention and preparation is key. In the event, McAfee gave heavy emphasis on vigilance, updated approach, due diligence when patching, and the need for a more robust incident response. Now owned by TPG and Intel, Mcafee plans to further express their commitment in building a safer cyber future for the country by applying unprecedented focus that’s directed towards strengthened platforms with new technological and operational investments. In the efforts to fortify its commitment, McAfee plans to strengthen its partnership with WSI, the country’s leading IT distributor. Likewise, engagement and dialogue between the Philippine government, local law enforcement, and academia have already begun to strategically fight cybercrimes.
“McAfee continues to focus on the global threat landscape’s most sophisticated cyberwarfare and cybercrime campaigns such as Shamoon. McAfee s long-standing partnership with WSI has helped establish a robust cyber-security program in the Philippines and we look forward to expanding our offerings to address increasingly complex cyber-security risks and challenges,” said Gavin Struthers, McAfee senior vice president and president of Asia Pacific.
“The government’s bid to build the country’s cyber-security infrastructure is a push in the right direction and we are committed to working closely with the government and the industry players in the Philippines to build a safer environment
for all,” added Struthers.
The Need for Cyber Education and Training
Daryush Ashjari, McAfee head of presales, Asia Pacific shares that, “The Philippines is still plagued with a shortage of cyber-security talents and increasing cybercrime incidents. To combat this challenge, organizations must adopt an integrated, multi-layer platform that allows businesses to seamlessly gain “intelligence” from every security technology available. With that, they wilt then be able to build their own local threat intelligence and create an IT environment that uses automated processes to handle security operational tasks.”