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Freeman Cebu Business

FinTech stakeholders step up measures against cyberthreats

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — FinTech sector stakeholders in the Philippines have intensified its move to protect institutions and consumers alike from various forms of cyberthreats.

In the recently concluded FinTech Alliance Philippines’ Digital Transformation Summit: INDX3.0 - Forging the Future of Digital,” players discussed strategies and tricks on how to address the cybersecurity issues in the new digital age.

The summit gathered key personalities and experts from various sectors, including private enterprises, banks, government agencies, and the cybersecurity community, as well

as leaders from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Cybercrime Investigation & Coordinating Council and the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cyber Crime Group Division, among others.

Together with concerned agencies and authorities from the government, the summit enlightened the fintech industry players on programs and initiatives being introduced to eliminate digital security breaches.

Discussions revolved around the current state of digitalization, its associated threats, and the most effective strategies for mitigating them.

The FinTech Alliance Philippines brought together visionaries, thought leaders, and industry experts from across the globe in an effort to educate players on how to protect themselves from sophisticated cyberthreats and other forms of digital hacking.

The event themed “INDX3.0_Creating What’s Next in Digital” and encapsulated by the ideals of Dare-Drive-Defy, delved deep into the realm of digitalization, with a special focus on the ever-pressing matter of cybersecurity.

The session, expertly moderated by the Chairwoman of the Cyber Security Committee of FinTech Alliance Philippines and CEO of Traxion Tech Inc., Ann Cuisia, shed light on the multifaceted challenges facing businesses and individuals alike in the digital era.

One key insight emphasized during the summit was the evolving nature of warfare in the modern world. Panelists underscored that conflicts are no longer confined to traditional battlefields; they now extend into the cyber realm.

Advanced persistent threats (APTs) targeting organizations, influencers, and even ordinary individuals are becoming increasingly prevalent and sophisticated.

These threats underscore the urgent need for comprehensive cybersecurity measures to safeguard individuals, businesses, and national interests.

The summit also highlighted the pivotal role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in the financial technology landscape, as it continues to revolutionize the industry, software innovators face the crucial responsibility of ensuring the security and integrity of these applications.

During the summit experts stressed that AI systems must be built and developed with security as a paramount consideration to protect sensitive data and the individuals who rely on these technologies.

The FinTech Alliance Philippines Digital Transformation Summit INDX3.0 has provided a platform for fruitful dialogue, knowledge sharing, and strategic planning in the ever-evolving world of fintech and cybersecurity. It serves as a reminder that as the digital landscape continues to shape the world, the responsibility to protect and secure it rests upon the collective shoulders of industry leaders, experts, and innovators.

In the face of relentless change and digital evolution, the Dare-Drive-Defy spirit championed at the summit offers a beacon of hope and resilience, guiding the industry toward a future that is not just digital but also secure and robust.

During the enlightening panel discussion, which was specifically tailored for the banking sector, a crucial question emerged - whether there exists a sort of “kill switch” for bank accounts compromised by malware. It was disclosed that individual banks do, in fact, have a safeguard in place known as the “card lock.”

This feature allows customers to quickly and effectively freeze their accounts, preventing any unauthorized transactions. Essentially, it serves as a digital padlock for their financial assets.

Card lock operates as a protective mechanism that empowers account holders to respond promptly to potential breaches, providing a valuable layer of security to their digital banking experience.

It was also pointed out during the Summit that in Southeast Asia, specific regulators have mandated a similar measure. Singapore, for instance, has made it mandatory for banks to implement a “kill switch” for mobile and internet banking. This proactive requirement is a critical step towards not only safeguarding consumers but also fortifying the financial institutions themselves against cyber threats.

In the Philippines, players identified various concerns such as the prevalence of “mule accounts” used for illegal activities. ISharing intelligence between the government and trusted FinTech partners is essential in ensuring strong cybersecurity measures.

Likewise, corporations and businesses were encouraged to cooperate by promptly reporting any breaches or cybersecurity problems they encountered.  This collaborative approach not only facilitates the resolution of issues but also helps prevent future concerns.

Meanwhile, digital literacy among Filipinos was identified as a crucial factor in combating cyber threats. It was stressed that information is key to awareness, enabling individuals to protect themselves from scams and online fraud. In conclusion, the summit highlighted the importance of collaboration between the government and cybersecurity experts, particularly within the FinTech industry.

“The call to action is to protect the public trust by doing pro-active cyber protection of our financial technologies.The unity of the FinTech alliance and the broader industry is vital in strengthening the ecosystem and safeguarding the financial economy against the ever-evolving threats of the digital age,” Cuisa concluded.

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