Freeman Cebu Business

Local tech company helps drive cybersecurity awareness in Cebu

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman
Local tech company helps drive cybersecurity awareness in Cebu
888 Tech Exchange Ventures general manager Ren Nograles said cybersecurity has become the primary concern not only for large organizations and governments, but also for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), even individuals as nearly all transactions are now done online.
Ehda M. Dagooc

CEBU, Philippines — American cybersecurity company Resecurity, in cooperation with Cebu-based 888 Tech Exchange Ventures, is set to drum up cybersecurity awareness in Cebu. This initiative aims to equip companies with the necessary measures to safeguard their operational systems, especially as the Philippines has emerged as a top target for hackers worldwide.

Slated on April 18, 2024, at the Fairfield by Marriot Cebu in Mandaue City, the company will gather key leaders in the business sector, particularly financial institutions, government, utilities, academe, and other industries, and corporate IT (Information Technology) specialists, to provide the latest cybersecurity trends and how cybersecurity professionals can capitalize of the available tools now to protect their organizations.

Resecurity is a cybersecurity company that delivers a unified platform for endpoint protection, risk management, and threat intelligence for Fortune 500 enterprises and government agencies worldwide.

In an interview with Ren Nograles, general manager of 888 Tech Exchange Ventures, the Cebu-based partner of Resecurity, he said cybersecurity has become the primary concern not only for large organizations and governments, but also for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), even individuals. This heightened concern stems from the fact that nearly all transactions are now conducted online.

“It’s not a matter of whether your business will be hacked or not, it’s only a matter of when,” Nograles said.

Nograles asserts that in the cybersecurity space, education and awareness stand out as the most formidable tools in navigating this digital battleground

He further warned that local businesses especially in Cebu are facing an urgent need to prioritize cybersecurity or risk dire consequences.

He emphasized the pressing need for businesses to prioritize cybersecurity measures and underscored the ever-present threat posed by cyberattacks in today’s digital age.

According to a report by the UN (United Nations), hundreds of thousands of people from

Southeast Asia (SEA) were recruited to join online scam operations such as romance investment scams, crypto fraud, money laundering, and illegal gambling. Recruitment to these criminal operations are mostly done via advertised professional roles such as programmers, marketers or human resource specialists, through what appear to be legitimate and even elaborate procedures.

Increased usage and trust in digital payment methods, lack of regulations protecting the rights of users online and large numbers of people forced into joining online scam operations add complexity to this major issue in SEA and in resolving it.

Early this year, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved a comprehensive five-year National Cybersecurity Plan designed to safeguard the country against the ever-evolving threats of the digital age.

The Philippines’ 2024-2028 cybersecurity plan is geared towards strengthening its cybersecurity systems by creating policy direction and operational guidelines.

While banks and other data-reliant industries are the most vulnerable to data breaches and hacking, any business could be exposed to these potential threats as well.

Nograles underscored the pervasive cybersecurity challenges confronting businesses not only in Cebu but across the Philippines.

Emphasizing the imperative for proactive initiatives, Nograles stressed the necessity of fortifying sensitive data and digital infrastructure. He articulated that such measures are vital for companies to uphold the pillars of confidentially, integrity, and availability in their operations.

Protecting one’s business from cyber threats is essential for its survival, as it guarantees the security of the company’s data and operations. But doing so, it shields the business from potential financial and reputational harm while also preserving trust with customers by ensuring the security of their valuable information.

Nograles’ company, 888 Tech Exchange Ventures helps firms in Cebu with cybersecurity solutions. He said companies should be updated with the latest available tools in the cybersecurity space, as cybercriminals are also constantly updating their crafts.

“Cybersecurity is not an expense but a fundamental investment, especially for companies heavily reliant on technology and data,” he explained.

Based on 2021 PSEI (Philippine Stock Exchange Inc.,) financial report, if all major Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) were attacked, revenue losses could go up to P6.15 billion a day.

PSEI identified at least six industries that are closely vulnerable to attacks, these are; banks, transportation, telecommunications, energy, water, and healthcare. This does not include the government and the growing outsourcing industry in the Philippines.

According to US Ambassador to the Philippines Mary Kay Carlson during an earlier cybersecurity seminar held in Cebu, Cyberattacks are not just restricted to attacks against government or institutions. “Unfortunately, businesses—regardless of size—have been subjected to cyberattack.” — (FREEMAN)

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