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How Filipino firms are fending off cybercrime

Cyber Threats

The Philippines economy is going from strength to strength. In 2019, it was worth some $376.80 billion, showing steady growth over the last 10 years. While it’s taken a small hit in 2020 and will need 2021 to recover, things are still looking positive. The country remains a popular destination for foreign investment of various kinds, particularly fintech and finance. One of the biggest sectors is monetary intermediation, followed by insurance and pensions, corporate services, and auxiliary financial services. Within these sectors are a growing number of startups focussing on providing tech solutions and services.

Thankfully, despite what’s going on in the wider world, tech remains relatively unaffected. It can continue to grow under most economic conditions. Our world is becoming more digitized and as such, demand for tech services increases.

Risk of cyber threats

Unfortunately, the Philippines is extremely susceptible to cyber attacks. In 2016 for example, a voting database was hacked and some 340 gigabytes were leaked to an anonymous hacking group. This was the country’s biggest private data leak ever and exposed the data of millions of citizens. This was something of a wake-up call to the authorities who have since tried to improve measures.

That said, a 2019 study said the country was the 5th most likely to be attacked globally, raising concerns for finance and fintech companies operating there. At-risk businesses include banking, online payment solutions, and the tourism sector. Another area that needs to consider certain measures and have a rigorous approach to security is forex trading due to the sensitive information that could be leaked. However, there haven’t been any large-scale cyberattacks on forex trading companies in the country. This suggests that due to the influx of people using such sites, forex companies have moved fast to secure their systems.

Cyber Threats

How companies are protecting themselves

So, how are forex companies, and others, protecting themselves from cybercrime and attacks?

Firstly, most smart companies will have an in-house team that works to combat any threats before and when they arise. These will include cybersecurity specialists and monitoring systems that alert the team to any attempted or actual breaches. Cyber threats are constantly evolving so these teams must work to stay up to date with how criminals try to circumnavigate safeguards.

AI is also being used both at the client onboarding stage and the authorization stage to make sure the user is who they say they are. The technology can scan via webcam, or images to confirm identity. Some firms are moving to integrate biometric identification throughout their systems to further increase reliability and security.

As for platforms and websites, SSL encryption is a must. This should also be applied to apps. Two-factor authentication should be applied, especially before any transactions are enacted.

The Philippines still has a long way to go to fully combat threats posed by cybercrime but each company has a part to play. By incorporating sufficient cyber safeguards and best practices, a significant dent can be made in the efforts of those wanting to get up to no good.