PH cybersecurity must be strengthened amid digital boom — US diplomat

Published October 26, 2021, 2:49 PM

by Betheena Unite

Believing that cybersecurity is something that countries must work on in this digital era, the US Embassy in the Philippines held two virtual programs to discuss the need to strengthen cybersecurity mitigations in the country.

United States Embassy Charge d’Affaires Heather Variava (US Embassy Manila)

During both webinars, US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Heather Variava highlighted the essential need for countries to work together to mitigate cybersecurity risks.

“There’s no denying that today’s world is run, in large part, digitally. This is a fundamental shift that will last well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” Variava said.

“Even as we enjoy the advantages of life in a digital world, we also must be cognizant of the risks involved. Cybersecurity is not something that’s just nice to have. It cannot be an afterthought,” she added.

Two webinars were separately held on Oct. 14 and Oct. 20 enjoining the public and private sectors in a discussion of cybersecurity and the benefits of e-government, state-of-the-art US technologies and services, policies and regulations that can strengthen cybersecurity infrastructure, and the resilience of public and private sector entities in the Philippines.

The two-part webinar series was split between “Cybersecurity in the New Reality” and “Cybersecurity in the Digital Reality: Business Continuity in COVID–19 Environment.”

Representatives from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (APEC CBPR), FBI, Qualys, Cloud Security Alliance, Cisco, and AIG presented their frameworks and programs to demonstrate that cybersecurity is a necessary investment for government agencies and businesses to work, interact with citizens, and improve overall operations.

The twin webinars were held as part of the Cybersecurity Awareness Month this October. It is a broad effort to stay safer and more secure online.

This year’s theme– “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart”– empowers individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace.