Cybersecurity education a must as more PH communities come online

POPULAR POST

CryptoBilis presents ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day 2024’ in collaboration with...

An event to bring to-gather all fragmented cryptocurrency communities in the Philippines under one roof.

Olympus acceleration platform opens global launchpad for Filipino Web3...

The DFINITY Foundation (DFINITY), a Swiss not-for-profit research and development organization and key contributor to the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) blockchain, has announced the launch of the Olympus, the first decentralized, on-chain global acceleration platform. 

Parallel TCG Planetfall, A Week After Its Release

The long-awaited expansion to the hit web3 space sci-fi TCG (Trading Card Game), Parallel, Planetfall has launched May 1 and it has been a week since it hit the virtual shelves. Let's see how it has fared on its first week from the perspective of the Parallel TCG players themselves.

Coins.ph’s PHPC Stablecoin Receives BSP Approval, a Game-Changer for...

In a groundbreaking development for the digital asset and fintech industry of the Philippines, Coins.ph, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in the country, announced it...

Illuvium launches Beta 4 with a $25M USD Airdrop...

Illuvium launches their Beta 4 with a $25M USD Airdrop Campaign

Coins.ph, XD Academy Team Up to Bring Global Bitcoin...

In a significant move to raise the bar for crypto education in the Philippines and widen access to innovative web3 learning tools, Coins.ph, the leading crypto exchange in the country, has joined forces with XD Academy, a global pioneer in web3 and cryptocurrency learning and certification.

As the Philippine government amplifies its efforts to connect geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) to the internet, experts are emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity education. The goal: to ensure that these already disadvantaged communities, while being brought into the digital fold, are not further disadvantaged by potential cyber threats.

Bridging the digital divide

According to the Department of Information, Communication, and Technology (DICT), 65% of Filipinos, mostly families based outside of urban centers, still lack internet access. As such, the Philippine government made strong commitments this year towards connecting more of these communities to the internet. Under the current administration, multiple agencies have come together to provide free internet connection to rural communities through the “BroadBand ng Masa Programme”.

This initiative specifically targets isolated islands, especially those without mobile cellular connections. Today, nearly 5,000 operational free WiFi sites have been established, servicing around 2.1 million unique users across 100,000 families.

Additional cross-sectoral partnerships have also seen groups like Starlink, SES, Silkwave, Astranis, and other internet satellite providers come into the country to boost accessibility in rural regions.

Higher connectivity, higher risk

While the push for digital inclusion promises economic growth and opportunities in underserved regions, it also brings forth challenges related to cybersecurity. According to Palo Alto Networks’ 2023 Unit 42 Ransomware and Extortion Report, ransomware attacks in the Philippines surged by nearly 60%.

Oscar Visaya, Country Manager for the Philippines at Palo Alto Networks, emphasized the need for early education on best security practices, especially in GIDAs. “While [these communities] are gaining internet access, the greater challenge lies in shifting consumer behavior towards cybersecurity,” he said. “Many in these communities are unfamiliar with online risks. Early education on best security practices, such as Zero Trust, is vital for individuals and organizations within these areas.”

Zero Trust is a digital approach that never assumes safety; it always verifies. Think of it as a security guard, checking the IDs of those who come in and out of a building, regardless of whether they’re regulars or not. In enterprise settings, this translates to advanced security tools and protocols, like multi-factor authentication, to ensure only authorized users and devices can access specific data and applications. No person or platform is trusted implicitly; everything is scrutinized.

For individuals, especially those coming from GIDAs, adopting Zero Trust means learning to double-check links before clicking, especially in emails and on social media, to avoid phishing scams. They should also use strong, unique passwords for different accounts and enable multi-factor authentication wherever possible to add an extra layer of security.

A bottom-up approach to national security

Educating newly-connected communities is even more vital given the context that the main goal of programs like BBMP is to streamline interconnectivity and digitize access to government services. The vast amounts of data LGUs will be amassing through these services creates a goldmine for potential bad actors to target. A data breach within a public agency could jeopardize citizens’ privacy, public services, and even national security.

National and local government units can boost their online security by setting up more robust, granular systems to monitor their internet traffic, both in terms of the apps being used and the people using them. This way, they can quickly spot and address any unusual or suspicious activity. Moreover, by using tools that control who can access specific parts of their network (often called Identity and Access Management practices), they can better protect their systems from potential threats, ensuring everything runs smoothly and safely.

“Digital infrastructure’s economic potential hinges on effective preparedness against attacks that could cause financial losses, cost livelihoods, and endanger people’s safety at worst,” Visaya said. “By implementing robust cybersecurity measures from the outset, attack surfaces shrink and pave a path for sustainable growth that benefits everyone in the long term.”

Subscribe to our newsletter

Its easy to be smart about crypto, allow us to send you weekly updates on digital assets, crypto, NFTs and fintech.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

CryptoBilis presents ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day 2024’ in collaboration with Satoshi Labs...

An event to bring to-gather all fragmented cryptocurrency communities in the Philippines under one roof.

Olympus acceleration platform opens global launchpad for Filipino Web3 startups 

The DFINITY Foundation (DFINITY), a Swiss not-for-profit research and development organization and key contributor to the Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) blockchain, has announced the launch of the Olympus, the first decentralized, on-chain global acceleration platform. 

Parallel TCG Planetfall, A Week After Its Release

The long-awaited expansion to the hit web3 space sci-fi TCG (Trading Card Game), Parallel, Planetfall has launched May 1 and it has been a week since it hit the virtual shelves. Let's see how it has fared on its first week from the perspective of the Parallel TCG players themselves.

Illuvium launches Beta 4 with a $25M USD Airdrop Campaign

Illuvium launches their Beta 4 with a $25M USD Airdrop Campaign

Coins.ph, XD Academy Team Up to Bring Global Bitcoin Course to...

In a significant move to raise the bar for crypto education in the Philippines and widen access to innovative web3 learning tools, Coins.ph, the leading crypto exchange in the country, has joined forces with XD Academy, a global pioneer in web3 and cryptocurrency learning and certification.