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March 01, 2024

Banks stress importance of cyber security as hacktivists step up activities

The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) led by bankero Tony Moncupa said “hacktivists” continue to step up attacks as more Filipinos embrace digitalization amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bankeros shared their insights and expertise on cyber security during an online forum held with the Supreme Court of the Philippines. The webinar was aimed at equipping employees of the judiciary with the skills they need to be safe in cyberspace.

Moncupa said the various cyber security-related challenges every sector in society is facing today.

“Hacktivists are also seeking to put pressure on institutions through defacing official websites. Data breaches continue to be a threat to institutions, clients, and their stakeholders,” the bankero said.

To address malicious activities and enforce data privacy, the vice chairman of Gotianun-led East West Banking Corp. encouraged the adoption of best practices, tools, and methods promoting cyber security.

Trends on cyber security are not new for the banking industry.

In response to the need to promote cyber security among the Filipino public, the BAP recently held a CyberSafe campaign — a wide-ranging initiative with various stakeholders such as social media influencers, radio and print media, and BAP member-banks to educate Filipinos on what they should do to have a safe banking experience.

In light of the CyberSafe campaign, the BAP also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Justice (DOJ) under which the organization will train government prosecutors to hold cybercriminals accountable for their actions.

For the Filipino public to be safe in cyberspace, Moncupa said everyone needs to work together by knowing how to protect themselves, such as being able to detect signs of cybercrime.

“This effort to digitize the judiciary complements the government’s push towards delivering efficient and secure services to the public. To protect the entire system, we begin by protecting and capacitating the individual nodes that comprise it, and that is where you as individuals come into the grand scheme of endeavors towards cyber security,” Moncupa said.

Other speakers during the event were East West chief information security and data protection officer Manuel Joey Regala, Bank of the Philippine Islands head of government relations Christine Lovely Red-Allego, Exceture Inc. chief information security officer and head of IT consulting and software engineering Mario Demarillas, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief information security officer Luis Jacinto, and China Bank head of information security officer Hans Irvin Yoro.

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