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Business leaders now see cyberthreats as top concern

/ 04:07 AM September 16, 2020

Cyberthreats made it to the top three concerns of Philippine businesses over the next six months as more enterprises were forced to go online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest survey by cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike Inc. showed most companies were also expected to increase technology budgets even as businesses suffer during an economic downturn.

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The CrowdStrike’s 2020 Asia-Pacific and Japan State of Cybersecurity Report was carried out from May to June this year, just as the Philippines was emerging from strict COVID-19 lockdown measures.

An overwhelming 86 percent of business leaders surveyed in the country said cybersecurity measures were a “top priority.”

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This came alongside economic conditions and new waves of COVID-19 infections.

Businesses said challenges ranged from remote work, new regulations, compliance costs and the need to upgrade despite limited budgets.

“While most organizations in Philippines have changed their IT (information technology) envi­ronments to accommodate remote workers, 37 percent still have not changed their security programs due to COVID-19, potentially exposing their organizations to cyber risks from new and more sophisticated attacks,” the report said.

Cybersecurity spending is also poised to go up over the next six months, according to 76 percent of businesses leaders surveyed.

“As cybersecurity is front of mind for budget allocation, many respondents have recognized that COVID-19 has resulted in a massive increase in cyberthreat behavior,” the report said.

The company said electronic criminal activity has gone up more than 330 percent since the start of the year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic may have had the biggest impact on the way organizations operate since the introduction of office PCs (personal computers),” said Sherif El Nabawi, vice president for engineering at CrowdStrike.

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“Our research findings show that respondents understand these gaps and expect to address them during business recovery, going beyond ‘good enough’ security measures to ensure their employees remain secure against sophisticated threat activity—regardless of where they are located,” he added. INQ

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