The central bank will require financial institutions to put in place higher standards of information technology (IT) as part of a stronger defense strategy against cybercrimes.
“Financial institutions everywhere are routinely being attacked by cyber criminals. So the important thing is the quality of the cybercrime prevention programs that is why we are trying to strengthen the defenses Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr.,” told reporters on Tuesday.
“The best thing to do now is to make the system strong to prevent breaches,” he said.
Espenilla said the BSP is now working on supplemental or additional regulations to strengthen and increase the level of maturity of Philippine banks and other financial institutions in dealing with various issues, for instance cybercrimes.
“We consider it a very serious thing. If you recall in December last year, we held the first-ever cybercrime security forum. Consciously, our focus there was to get the top management of banks, board level and senior level to pay attention to this issue. Do not look at it as something just for IT people only. It is really for the top management to worry about and to put resources behind it. Not just words,” he explained.
The regulator wants more guidelines on what should be the minimum things to do about cybercrime by trying to raise the standards in terms of regulations and at the same time strengthen the supervisory capacity of banks.
“For a long time, the dominant threat is still those that are related to ATM fraud except that trend-wise, those are on the decline already. And that will further improve once we deploy the EMV chip by January 2017,” he said.
“But also we see on the horizon growing other kinds of threats the hacking type. So that basically reminds us that there is absolutely no room for complacency because new threats arise,” he added.
Also, Espenilla noted the BSP will require banks to immediately report any cybercrime threat.
“If something happens, before doing anything else, report to the BSP because that also alerts us. The approach there is formal reporting to the BSP but we also encourage them as an industry to talk more and communicate with one another,” he added.