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BritCham highlights necessity of cybersecurity in biz and gov’t initiatives

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By Marinel Peroy 

On March 20, the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) successfully launched its third monthly run of Trade & Connect — an event series titled  “Securing the Digital Frontier: Breaking Through Digital Boundaries” held at its venue partner, Makati Commerce Tower. 

With the aim to highlight the market opportunities in various local industries, the event was in partnership with CyberQ Group and Colliers. Several speakers consisted of cybersecurity experts from the Philippine government and the private sector including Dir. Engr. Jose Carlos P. Reyes, Director of the Cybersecurity Bureau from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Chris Woods, Founder and CEO, Roberto Tayag, CEO-APAC, & Vishvas Nayi, Chief Solutions Architect of the CyberQ Group, and Pat Pio Fondevilla, Cybersecurity Operations Head of the Philippine National Bank.

Moreover, BCCP Executive Director/Trustee Chris Nelson emphasized the advocacies of the British Chamber and its support to the Philippine government in the passage of cybersecurity priority bills including the Cybersecurity Act, Anti-Mule Act, and the Online Site Blocking Act. Other initiatives on digitalization that further enhance its cybersecurity infrastructure and ways to improve the ease of doing business and encourage partnerships with the UK were highlighted through the use of cybersecurity. 

Trade & Connect event speakers with the attendees

Noting the recently approved National Cybersecurity Plan 2024-2029 by President Marcos Jr. last 8 February 2024, as announced by DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy, DICT’s Reyes discussed the Philippine cybersecurity infrastructure and also the necessity of implementing improved regulations through a holistic approach — citing the importance of confidentiality, integrity and anonymity. 

“We are focused on establishing the ICT Academy–this is an offshoot of the Telecommunications Training Institute (TTI) and the National Computer Institute (NCI) under the Department of Information and Communications Technology. We will be launching a dedicated Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. We could not do this one without the help of our private sector,” said Reyes. 

Reyes also highlighted further improving the Philippine cyber posture in collaboration with the UK through training in various industries such as transportation, banking, health, energy, and outsourcing business processes. 

Looking at the perspectives of the CyberQ Group, Woods emphasized the Philippines’ big potential and capability in attracting cybersecurity companies to establish a cyber-resilient environment, citing that global cybersecurity spending is expected to exceed $1.75 trillion. Tayag, on the other hand, highlighted how Filipino talents in the industry are prevalent across the globe and encouraged the government to develop upskilling cybersecurity programs with the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals which can further create more opportunities for collaboration. 

Meanwhile, Fondevilla expressed the concept of consent along with the importance of maintaining security in businesses to attain customer satisfaction. He also encouraged banks and other financial institutions to provide cybersecurity training with certain provisions to help in achieving conflict responsiveness and readiness in addressing cyber threats. 

Indeed, cybersecurity plays a huge role in various sectors and is needed to improve the overall economic environment – be it in government, business groups, and private-public partnerships. 

The Philippine Business and News (THEPHILBIZNEWS) is a proud media partner of the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines.

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