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[EXPLAINER | Cybersecurity] ‘Everyone is a probable target’: Cybersecurity for businesses big and small

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Businesses regardless of size have to beef up their cybersecurity, says Angel T. Redoble, founder and chairman of the Philippine Institute of Cybersecurity Professionals (PICSPros) and first vice-president and group chief information security officer of the PLDT Group. 

“Everyone is a probable target. We all have something cyberattackers want,” Mr. Redoble tells BusinessWorld reporter Patricia B. Mirasol in this B-Side episode. 

TAKEAWAYS

Businesses, big or small, are vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

The Department of Trade and Industry reported this October that the number of e-commerce sellers in the Philippines rose to 2 million, larger than its projection of 750,000. 

These sellers are all vulnerable targets, Mr. Redoble said, and should take the necessary precautions to secure personal customer information. 

“It’s a never-ending struggle,” he said. “Cybercriminals might get the upper hand … the moment we stop.”   

He advised the “the highest level or paranoia” when safeguarding data.

End users can’t protect themselves.  

Technologies such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and 5G enhance user experience but expand a system’s attack surface as well. The challenge for businesses is to adapt to these advancements and maintain a sufficient level of cybersecurity. 

“You cannot expect the users to be able to protect themselves,” he told BusinessWorld. “Very few are tech-savvy. Very few understand security. A majority just want to experience convenience.” 

Education is key.  

To help demystify the abstract concept of cybersecurity, Mr. Redoble founded the non-profit advocacy group Philippine Institute of Cybersecurity Professionals (PICSPros), which provides free training and awareness on its social media platforms to “elevate the knowledge and skills of the community, [and] protect themselves from cyberthreats.”  

Juniper Research estimates cyber-attacks cost businesses across the world $8 trillion between 2017 to 2022. Of greater concern, however, is how these cyberattackers have disrupted lives and impacted communities, Mr. Redoble said.  

“More than the businesses, the government agencies, and the other organizations, the most important asset in our society are children,” he added. “Cybersecurity should play a vital role in protecting our very important assets… and there’s no better way that doing that than by educating the parents.” 

 

Recorded onsite in Pasay City on Oct. 6. Produced by Joseph Emmanuel L. Garcia, Earl R. Lagundino, and Sam L. Marcelo.

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