Globe Group, UK Embassy unite to bolster cybersecurity initiatives

Atty. Irish Salandanan-Almeida, Globe Group’s Chief Privacy Officer, speaks in a fireside chat themed “Cybersecurity capacity building needs in the Philippines and the UK” at the recent UK Cybersecurity Reception.

Globe Group and the British Embassy in the Philippines have come together to bolster the Philippines’ digital infrastructure defenses. This support was a focal point of discussion at the UK Cybersecurity Reception, an event that highlighted the critical need for enhanced cybersecurity measures in the country.

During the Fireside Chat on “Cybersecurity capacity building needs in the Philippines and the UK,” Atty. Irish Salandanan-Almeida, Globe Group’s Chief Privacy Officer, articulated the company’s extensive measures in combating the digital threats intensified by the pandemic.

She noted Globe’s combined strategy of technological advancement, talent development, and public awareness, which includes offering cybersecurity solutions, implementing robust content filtering systems, and spearheading educational initiatives.

“The reason why scams and spam messages are so rampant now is because they (fraudsters) want to get customer data. And so we’re impressing upon our customers and partners the importance of having the right cybersecurity culture and using the appropriate cybersecurity solutions,” said Almeida.

Globe has recently poured in nearly $90 million in cybersecurity alone on top of its $20 million infrastructure investment to combat spam and scam messages. It also has a team of 97 people focused on information security and data privacy.

Together with sophisticated cyber tools and dedicated manpower, the company ensures that its employees and customers are protected online through initiatives such as the Digital Thumbprint Program in partnership with the Department of Education and “Safe Space: A Kid’s Guide to Data Privacy,” a data privacy book for children developed with the support of the National Privacy Commission.

“We prioritize education and awareness across the Globe Group.  It’s really important that we know how to practice online safety in our day-to-day activities,” she added.

British Ambassador to the Philippines, Laure Beaufils, on the other hand, shared the United Kingdom’s goal of strengthening the cybersecurity partnership with the Philippines by identifying opportunities for collaboration and sharing best practices on how to address collective challenges in cybersecurity.

“Cybersecurity must be a top priority for both the United Kingdom and the Philippines in order to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and promote economic development and prosperity. The digital landscape is an integral part of our daily lives, from critical infrastructure to personal communications, and protecting it is essential to safeguarding our economic prosperity and national security,” she said. “The Philippines and the UK alike are prioritizing defending their citizens against cyberattacks and we are pleased to be working together.”

Beaufils mentioned the UK’s collaboration initiatives, including the first UK-South East Asia Women in Cyber Fellowship, where Almeida was a delegate, and Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) Assistant Secretary Mary Rose Magsaysay is joining as a mentor.   The programme will empower women from the South East Asia region by providing networking opportunities, access to speakers and expertise from the UK and South East Asia. Another one is the £13M Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund’s cyber package, aimed at enhancing cybersecurity capabilities in the Philippines.

The UK Cybersecurity Reception underscored the need for a multi-faceted approach to address cybersecurity challenges. The event brought together government officials, industry leaders, and cybersecurity experts to share insights and strategies for a more secure digital environment. The discussions focused on the importance of public-private partnerships, international cooperation, and the need for continuous innovation in cybersecurity technologies and practices.

The commitment from Globe Group and the British Embassy to assist the Philippine government in its cybersecurity efforts emphasizes the global nature of cyber threats and the importance of collaborative approaches to address these challenges effectively.

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