MANILA (UPDATE) - More cybersecurity professionals are needed in the Philippines with the rise of digitalization across sectors, the National Association of Data Protection Officers of the Philippines (NADPOP) said.
About 180,000 cybersecurity professionals are needed to cover 10 percent of companies and critical infrastructures involved in healthcare, finance, BPO, and utilities such as water, electricity, and telecommunications, NADPOP Founding President Sam Jacoba said, adding that even more opportunities are available internationally.
“Ang mga Pilpino magagaling talaga, world-class pero kulang talaga. Ngayon, napakadaling maghanap ng trabaho. Kahit hindi sila umalis ng Pilipinas ay nagtatrabaho sila sa ibang companies dahil online,” Jacoba said. (about 3 mins of interview)
While a background in computer science and information and technology may be an advantage, Jacoba stressed that anyone can be a cybersecurity expert as long as they are able to get the proper education and certification for it.
Incorporating cybersecurity courses into the curriculum was also suggested by the group of experts.
“Ang call namin, sana ang DepEd mag-adopt ng cybersecurity courses as early as kindergarten. Up to law school business schools, maraming application ng cybersecurity. Anyone can be a cybersecurity professional as long as matiyaga, you have access to proper tools. There are a lot of courses that are free,” Jacoba said.
Non-government organization Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT) recognized the growing threats to cybersecurity and is urging companies to invest in cybersecurity infrastructures and training.
In the first half of 2023, the Department of Information and Communications Technology monitored 5,000 cyber threats in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, GCash has also blocked 4 million accounts for fraudulent acts from January to 2022 to June 2023, the Ayala-led fintech said.
PH-CERT President Lito Averia encouraged companies, including the government, to cooperate in the investigation of cyberattacks through reporting of incidents.
Averia mentioned that reporting cybersecurity attacks can be “quite a challenge” as companies are inclined to protect their brand’s reputation.
“What we have been pushing is for them to share information at a technical level. We don’t need the identities of the companies if they can only provide us with the technical information so that we can learn from the technical information,” Averia said.
PH-CERT also underscored the importance of collaboration with the international community to share best practices in cybersecurity. A cybersecurity international conference, the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Community, will be held in Tokyo, Japan in October.