Data protection a key defense


Philippine companies are exposed to cybercrime attacks even though the country is notorious for having one of the poorest internet speeds in the region, Henry Rhoel Aguda, one of the authors of the newly-launched book on data privacy and cybercrime prevention, said.

In an interview, Aguda said that local firms are susceptible to cybercrime attacks since many Filipinos including those employed by local firms do not fully appreciate the importance of protecting even their own private information.

“It is not so much the [internet]speed; it’s being connected. Viruses had been a very low payload anyway. So you’ll be surprised. Sometimes you don’t have to be through the internet. Sometimes it’s just a rogue USB and even CD ROMS,” Aguda told reporters during the launch of his book entitled “Data Privacy and Cybercrime Prevention in the Philippine Digital Age.”

The book was co-authored by Bryan Dennis Tiojanco and Francesca Montes.

Aguda noted it is hard to put a value on the assets that are at risk as a result of being connected to the internet without thinking of securing the vital information, which include passwords, PIN codes and other sensitive information.

“How do you put a value to someone’s privacy? It may run in the billions [of pesos]. My sense is we still don’t know. Because not a lot of people understand the implication of stealing someone else’s information. That’s a very huge number at the least,” Aguda, who previously worked with the country’s two giant telecommunications firms, said.

“Firms are very much at risk because that’s the price of connectedness. The more you are connected to the internet, the more you’re connected to cyberspace, the more you should pay attention to who can get into your system,” Aguda said.

“A lot of our kids are growing in the age of software programming and all, and they have to be guided. If people are not guided on what’s right or what’s wrong, then you’ll have problems with kids in cyberspace,” he added.

The newly-formed National Privacy Commission has earlier called for a plan to heighten data privacy and improve overall data security in the country during the first 100 days of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, who will take his oath of office on June 30.

Privacy Commissioner Raymund Liboro said everyone should be involved in securing vital assets like personal data being processed by both the public and private sector.


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