The Philippines recorded the highest number of disruptive attacks across Southeast Asia in the past year, making cybersecurity a critical requirement for companies based in the country, cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks said on Wednesday.
Palo Alto Networks Regional VP Steven Scheurmann said the company’s 2023 State of Cybersecurity Asean Report found that Philippine organizations “are challenged with attacks arising from increasing reliance on cloud services and applications.”
Alongside Malaysia, the Philippines “experienced the highest number of disruptive attacks in Southeast Asia, with 29 percent local organizations experiencing a 50 percent or more increase in incidents.”
The report further found that 51 percent of Philippine-based organizations feel that they are at high risk from cybersecurity threats with attacks such as malware, phishing and spearphishing, and password attacks being their top concerns.
Furthermore, Scheurmann reported that organizations in the Philippines face three main cybersecurity challenges: Increasing digital transactions leading to greater exposure to cyber-risks; risks from personal devices or home networks accessing corporate networks; and the need to procure a wider array of cybersecurity solutions.
“Attackers are constantly evolving and many SMEs see security as a point-in-time initiative — they are not updating their security capabilities to keep up with attackers. In many parts of Asean, including the Philippines, SMEs form the backbone of our economies,” said Scheurmann.
“It is imperative for them to update their security capabilities, and an actionable incident response plan is the first step towards redefining their security strategy, along with a greater emphasis on automation of existing cybersecurity processes to foster resilience and confidence.”
However, 90 percent of local organizations are confident in their adopted security measures. Despite the confidence, compared to large corporations, SMEs feel relatively less confident in coping with cybersecurity challenges due to constrained cybersecurity budgets and relatively weaker in-house cybersecurity talent.
“It is great to see the confidence across Asean and in the Philippines in their security measures. This indicates that businesses have and are continuing to build resilience against evolving cyber attacks,” Oscar Visaya, Country Manager for the Philippines at Palo Alto Networks, said.
“However, confidence must be coupled with caution. Taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity is the need of the hour, which will need an all-hands-on-deck initiative with active participation from everyone within the organization.”