Cyber threats

HIDDEN AGENDA (The Philippine Star) - April 9, 2017 - 12:00am

Information and communication technology solutions global leader Fujitsu Philippines is urging enterprises in the country to step up security measures against cybercrime.

Fujitsu recently released its latest Threat Predictions report for 2017, identifying 10 of the greatest security risks to enterprises.

It said the most significant of these cybercrime threats is the failure to keep up with the basic IT security processes.

Fujitsu Philippines CEO Cricket Santiago explained while this problem is the easiest to remedy, lax security will continue leading to breaches that can be easily avoided.

Santiago pointed out a number of enterprises in the Philippines do not carry out simple, yet vital housekeeping tasks that cut down on risks.

The company also revealed that the country also has a high number of cybercrime cases, with the latest report of the Philippine National Police-Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) showing 1,865 cases were filed in 2016. Thirty-six percent of them are internet threats and scams that may lead to data loss, data theft or external disruption of their systems.

Fujitsu asked businesses to take immediate measures to better protect themselves through more effective vulnerability patching and ensuring only current users have access to critical systems.

The company found out that many organizations are too generous when it comes to system access privileges for regular users.

Another particular weakness identified by Fujitsu security experts relates to encrypted channels that provide external access to the heart of critical computing systems.

Fujitsu explained that these are designed to give remote workers easier access to networks, but when taken over by a cybercriminal, can mean suspicious activities are largely undetectable.

This, it said, is a blind spot, with attacks over encrypted channels being missed due to the lack of SSL inspection capabilities.

Meanwhile, Fujitsu said companies should also be more vigilant in managing banking applications, another favorite of cybercriminals. The same PNP-ACG report showed this comprises 12 percent or 215 cases of cybercrimes last year.

Fujitsu predicts that 2017 will see more attacks in banking payment systems and expects further growth in banking Trojans targeting older, more vulnerable backoffice applications.

Although international banking networks are moving to establish mandatory controls, it said it still presents a window of opportunity for cybercriminals.

Smart cities will also find themselves targeted, Fujitsu revealed, saying many of the protocols designed for smart connected devices have their own potential flaws and vulnerabilities.

The company warned that implications could include allowing hackers to disable smart lighting grids in entire cities.

The state-of-the-art Fujitsu Security Operations Center (SOC), which protects customers by detecting, analyzing and neutralizing threats, also foresees the increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities will become game changers in enterprise security since it can immediately identify anomalies like web traffic patterns.

Such early warning systems allow security professionals to take a proactive approach to risk mitigation, aiming to eliminate threats before they become problems but Fujitsu also warned that cybercriminals will be turning to these technologies to launch previously unseen types of attack.

ALA meeting in Brunei

The ASEAN Law Association (ALA) headed by its president, lawyer Avelino V. Cruz, held a successful Governing Council Meeting last March 25 at the Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei, preceded by the meeting of the Council of Chief Justices who are likewise heads of the national committees of ALA. 

The legal forum approved the reports of ALA’s two principal working groups, namely Harmonization of Laws and ALA at the Crossroads, for submission to the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Ministerial Agencies.

ALA is the ASEAN Charter’s exclusive civil society affiliate for law, and as such is ASEAN’s legal think tank.

Cruz urged ALA officials and members to fasttrack a sustained program for harmonization of laws in the ASEAN by harnessing the resources of ALA for legal cooperation.

The Brunei National Committee headed by Chief Justice Kifrawi, which hosted the three-day event, also spoke on the establishment last year of the Brunei International Commercial Arbitration Center and tabled a proposal to update the ASEAN Legal Systems E-Book. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah received in audience the president and heads of delegations of ALA, as well as the Council of Chief Justices last March 25. A Regional ALA Golf Chapter Tournament headed by Justice Presbitero Velasco of the Philippine Supreme Court and secretary general Jeremy Parulan was held at the Empire Hotel & Country Club.

At the end of the event, the Governing Council approved the holding of a commemorative session in Manila from Oct. 26-28, 2017, to mark the Golden Anniversary of the ASEAN. This is to be on the sidelines of the summit of the heads of state of the 10 countries and its dialogue partners which include the US, China and Japan to be held in early November in Manila.

In the ALA Governing Council are ALA president Atty. Avelino Cruz; secretary general lawyer Atty. Regina Geraldez and the ALA vice presidents and chairmen of their respective national committees: Brunei Chief Justice Kifrawi Kifli, Cambodia Justice You Ottara, Indonesia Chief Justice Hatta Ali, Phomsouvanh Philachanh of Lao PDR, Malaysia Chief Justice Arifin Bin Zakaria, Myanmar Chief Justice Tun Tun Oo, former Philippine chief justice Artemio Panganiban, Singapore Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Thailand Chief Justice Veerapol Tungsuwan and Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Quyen. 

The ALA Philippine National Committee is led by Chief Justice Panganiban, chairman; Atty. Alonzo Ancheta, vice chairman; Atty. Victoria delos Reyes, secretary; Atty. Regina Geraldez, treasurer; deputy secretary general Atty. Ricardo Bernabe Jr.; ALA Journal editor Prof. Myrna Feliciano; Atty. Victoria Loanzon, assistant secretary and Atty. Michael Toledo, public relations committee chairman. Representatives to the Governing Council include Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Justice Antonio T. Carpio (Judiciary); Atty. Lilia B. De Lima and Prof. Myrna Feliciano (lawyers in government); and Atty. Danilo L. Concepcion and chairman Andres D. Bautista (teachers of law).


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