Shared cyber defense strategy for gov’t firms pushed
To better fight cybercriminals, the Department of Finance (DOF) has ordered its attached agencies and government financial institutions (GFIs) to band together to cost-effectively strengthen their joint defenses.
In a statement on Tuesday, the DOF said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III already asked all GFIs, state-run insurers and pension funds as well as revenue and treasury agencies under his watch to forge memoranda of agreement (MOA) on shared cyber defense strategy as the first step to avoid data breaches in their ranks.
Specifically, Dominguez’s order covered Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Land Bank of the Philippines, United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), the Insurance Commission, Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. , Philippine Health Insurance Corp., the Government Service Insurance System, the Social Security System, the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of the Treasury.
To recall, hackers stole P167 million from UCPB in June such that Dominguez pledged to tighten GFIs’ data security measures.
“The MOAs among the institutions and agencies involved in this cybersecurity plan will be done in segments. The GFIs such as DBP, UCPB and Landbank will comprise one segment, while the insurance fund agencies and the revenue bureaus under the DOF will be under the two other segments. Each segmented group will adopt a shared defense strategy to make the cybersecurity program cost-effective,” Dominguez explained.
“The issues and concerns of each sector are similar so it makes sense that the cost burden of these investments will be equally borne by the group,” Dominguez noted.
Also, Dominguez instructed these state-run firms and DOF-attached agencies to establish a working group that will allow them to identify the potential cybersecurity threats and cases of cyber fraud that they may encounter, and determine ways of eliminating or mitigating these risks.
“The government may tap the expertise of the private sector in coming up with a shared cyber defense strategy covering state institutions and agencies under the DOF,” Dominguez said. —Ben O. de Vera INQ
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