Thursday, May 23, 2024

Whole-Of-Asia, Whole-Of-Society needed to fight cyber threats in the Asia region

Attending the joint meeting of the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Technical Working Group, leaders of the Philippine Cybersecurity and Data Protection Communities of Practice emphasize how critical it is for all public and private sector organizations to collaborate in order to combat cyber threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

“A harmonious whole-of-Asia and whole-of-society approach to fight cyber threats in the region has to be orchestrated among government and private sector leaders in ASEAN and Japan, along with other countries in the region. Asian countries face the same threats, and all countries attending confirmed that their respective government’s digital infrastructure along with Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) are also being attacked constantly by international and even local threat actors. When government and private sector organizations work hand-in-hand to fight cyber threats, citizens will benefit the most. We already see the positive dynamics and impact of this cybersecurity community in the region.” ~Lito Averia, President of the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT)

According to PH-CERT and NADPOP estimates, 180,000 certified and skilled cybersecurity professionals are required in the Philippines in order to effectively and pro-actively safeguard the nation's critical infrastructure. According to both communities, the Philippines also needs a comparable number of professionals with training and validation in Data Privacy and Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC).

“The constantly increasing cyber attacks on government digital ecosystems and CIIs call for nations in the Asia region to establish concrete solutions such as an Information Exchange Network which will serve as a cyber weather station that will receive, verify, then send out threat alerts to everyone that will impacted in the region. In parallel, each country should continue to produce new cybersecurity professionals and to upskill current cybersecurity and information security personnel that are already working in government and private organizations. What is emerging through these meetings is a regional force for good that will serve as a shield for countries and citizens against threat actors, who are now using AI in their attacks. We are inviting all active Communities of Practice in the region to collaborate with our regional community, the AJCCA, as threat actors are also organized in their actions. During these times, we truly need a whole-of-region, whole-of-society, and even whole-of-community cooperation to effectively respond to cyber threats.” ~Sam Jacoba, Founding President of the National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP), and PH-CERT Vice President

In addition, PH-CERT and NADPOP will be present at the fifth board meeting of the recently established ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Community Alliance (AJCCA). This community event is being held in conjunction with the 2024 2nd ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Working Group Meeting, which is being hosted and organized by the Cambodian government.

The importance of peaceful cooperation amongst nations in the region is highlighted by the 2nd Joint Government-Industry-Academia (J-GIA) CA meeting between AJCCA and government cybersecurity representatives from ASEAN and Japan, with a focus on the five pillars of the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) published by the United Nations International Telecommunications Union (ITU). Legal, Technical, Organizational, Capacity Building, and Cooperation are the five pillars of cybersecurity.

The primary result of these quarterly regional meetings, according to Averia and Jacoba, will be the launch of collaborative initiatives between the public and private sectors. The primary weaknesses in each nation and the region as a whole in the GCI Cybersecurity Pillars can be filled by these initiatives.

Organized at the turn of the century, the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team or PH-CERT is a non-stock, non-profit organization institutionalized in March 2001 by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Republic of the Philippines (RP). Its primary purpose and advocacy are the following: to increase the awareness for Information Security and Cybersecurity; develop an inclusive Information Security (InfoSec) and Cybersecurity Workforce; and adopt InfoSec and Cybersecurity standards, and best practices to uplift their practice in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific Region.

The National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP) is the Philippine’s first community of Data Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Practitioners in the Philippines. Established and institutionalized by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Republic of the Philippines in 2018, NADPOP is a non-stock, non-profit organization whose vision is a Cyber, AI and Data Resilient Philippines. It aims to transform the Philippines into a Global Center of Excellence in Data Privacy, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity. NADPOP will do this by inspiring, empowering, and prospering Data Privacy, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity Professionals and Practitioners in the Philippines, and in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The ASEAN Japan Cybersecurity Community Alliance (AJCCA) is a collaborative initiative formed by nine leading cybersecurity communities from ASEAN nations and Japan. AJCCA is dedicated to enhancing cybersecurity capabilities, information sharing, and mutual support among its member nations to address the evolving challenges in the digital landscape. AJCCA’s Vision is a dynamic and resilient cybersecurity community in our region through trustworthy and respectful collaboration.

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