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DSWD takes major leap in cybersecurity enhancement

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In an era where digital transformation shapes the future of governance and service delivery, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has embarked on a groundbreaking journey to fortify its cybersecurity and network infrastructure.

The DSWD’s Information and Communications Technology Management Service (ICTMS) and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) held a pivotal coordination meeting last March 1 to launch multiple cybersecurity and network projects.

The initiative signified a monumental step in reinforcing the DSWD’s security posture against an increasingly volatile cyber threat landscape.

“Cybersecurity is not just a project; it is a cornerstone of our digital transformation journey. Under the leadership of President Bongbong Marcos, we are mandated to pivot towards a digital future. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of our beneficiaries’ data, ensuring the continuity of our services amidst the evolving cyber threats,” DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said in his message.

The OCIO-initiated assembly saw the convergence of DSWD’s technology partners, including global and local leaders, such as Palo Alto Networks, ePLDT, GOCOM Systems, Microdata, and AMTI, alongside DSWD ICT officers nationwide.

The collaboration underscored the Department’s commitment to employing sophisticated cybersecurity solutions, positioning the DSWD at the forefront of technological innovation in social welfare and development services, Asst. Secretary Julius Gorospe, the DSWD’s CIO, said.

“Today, we are setting the stage for a secure and resilient digital infrastructure that will empower us to deliver more efficient and effective services to the Filipino people. Our focus on cybersecurity is crucial in building trust and confidence in our services,” Asst. Secretary Gorospe said in his short speech.

According to the DSWD’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) the need for robust cybersecurity measures has never been more pronounced.

“With a staggering 400% increase in cybercrime cases in the Philippines in 2023, the DSWD’s initiative is both timely and imperative. These cybersecurity and network projects are not merely technological upgrades but strategic investments in the safety and well-being of the millions of Filipinos who depend on the DSWD’s services,” Asst. Sec. Gorospe explained.

The CIO stressed that the DSWD remains steadfast in its mission to provide a comprehensive and responsive social protection services to the Filipino people.

“Through these initiatives, the DSWD reaffirms its commitment to leveraging technology for social good, ensuring that every Filipino family and individual can look forward to a more secure, inclusive, and digitally empowered future,” Asst. Sec. Gorospe said.

ICTMS Director Christian Joseph Regunay, on the other hand, highlighted the significance of the initiative in strengthening the DSWD’s cybersecurity.

“By fortifying our defenses with cutting-edge cybersecurity measures, we are not only protecting our data but also ensuring that every Filipino family and individual relying on our services remains safe and supported in the digital age,” Director Regunay pointed out.

George Marcaida, a DSWD cybersecurity analyst, organized the successful coordination meeting among cybersecurity experts and technology partners held at the Novotel Hotel in Cubao, Quezon City.

“This collaborative effort marks a critical milestone in our journey towards digital excellence. The projects we kick off today will lay the groundwork for a secure, efficient, and innovative service delivery platform that meets the needs of our kababayans today and in the future,” Marcaida said in his speech.

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