PH taps India help to strengthen cyberdefense plan
The Philippines will fortify government financial institutions’ (GFI) cyberdefense capabilities to prevent a repeat of last year’s hacking incident that victimized a state-run lender.
During a recent virtual meeting, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III thanked Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran for the latter’s offer to assist the government in rolling out a “shared cyberdefense plan for Philippine state-run banks and their subsidiaries,” the Department of Finance (DOF) said in a statement over the weekend.
Dominguez also extended through the envoy the Philippines’ invitation to Indian firms that may be interested to participate in the project.
In a text message on Saturday, Dominguez declined to give more details on the planned cyberdefense system as the DOF wanted to avoid leaks that could endanger its security.
To recall, hackers amassed P167 million from state-run United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) in June last year. After the incident, Dominguez had committed to buttress GFIs’ data security measures.
On October, Dominguez had asked all GFIs, state-run insurers and pension funds, as well as revenue and treasury agencies under his watch to forge an agreement on shared cyberdefense strategies as the first step to avoiding data breaches within their ranks.
On top of the potential participation of Indian companies in GFIs’ upcoming cyberdefense system, Kumaran also informed Dominguez about “India’s interest in strengthening its cooperation with the Philippines in the fields of banking and finance, particularly on expanding the use of fintech to help attain President Duterte’s goal of financial inclusion for all Filipinos,” the DOF said.
In particular, the DOF quoted Kumaran as saying that “India can lend its expertise to the Philippines in setting up its national broadband network as well as its national ID system.” INQ
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