ALL successful Filipino business people I’ve met share a common trait: They are always looking ahead at opportunities, and they marshal their resources to make the most out of them.
In the digital age, almost all business people tell me they see technology as a clear-cut opportunity to improve their bottom line.
Whether it’s connecting directly with customers or mining “big data” to boost performance, the Internet has opened up a marvelous landscape for business.
Here in the Philippines, people spend more time on the Internet than any other country, with an average of more than 10 hours of screen time each day.
Not surprisingly, the country’s e-commerce market is forecast to grow to almost $10 billion over the next five years.
But as more businesses and people come to depend on technology, the nature of risk is rising to unprecedented levels because of cyber-security threats.
This is a real challenge we face today. Several big companies here in the Philippines have already suffered from major breaches of their data.
A DATA breach compromises a company’s commercial information and undermines confidence among the people and groups they do business with. Breaches in cyber security hurt the bottom line. And if not defended, cyber-security losses could spill over to the wider economy.
According to a report commissioned by Microsoft, the potential economic loss in the Philippines from cyber-security breaches could reach $3.5 billion, or 1.1 percent of total gross domestic product.
Every company in the world faces a threat of cyber attack. Perpetrators range from individuals, rival businesses seeking information through subversive means, to sophisticated and targeted attacks conducted by nation-states, such as North Korea and others.
In Australia’s case, small businesses report they are subject to about 5,000 attacks per day, while large companies will face up to 500,000 daily.
With the emergence of 5G, the next generation of mobile telecommunications technology and artificial intelligence, the cyber-security threat to companies and nation-states is serious.
At stake is the future of cyberspace. The Internet is delivering opportunities for economic and social development. It has enabled small and big business to thrive, while it created space for free speech and political choice.
Australia’s view is that cyberspace must continue to be secure, open and free. Only close partnerships between the private sector and government across borders can address these challenges, while they maintain security and prosperity online.
Reinforcing cyber security
I’M pleased to say there are several Australian companies here in the Philippines already providing high-quality security hardware and software, including encryption capability.
There are opportunities for more business. Australian firms offer niche technology solutions for companies to reinforce their cyber security. The country’s commercial offering reflects our strong, world-class research. Globally, we rank fourth in patent filings in cyber-security research and development. This capability makes Australia a popular test bed for new technology.
For example, CSIRO’s Data 61, Australia’s largest data-innovation group, has developed the “seL4 kernel,” which provides the basis for the strongest operating system security in the world.
Australia’s view is that a secure, free and open Internet is the best way for our citizens and the international community to continue to enjoy the benefits of technology.
We are eager to continue to work with business people to help reinforce their cyber security, so they can use innovative technology with trust and confidence.