Government financial institutions ordered to upgrade cybersecurity


FINANCE Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III ordered government financial institutions (GFIs) and revenue agencies to work jointly to upgrade their defenses against cyber attack and other potential security issues.

“We are keen on institutionalizing this cybersecurity program. As the Duterte administration fast-tracks its digital transformation initiatives to meet the challenges of the emerging New Economy, we must also see to it that we have the capacity to defend our critical systems from cyber attack from third parties and other possible hazards,” Mr. Dominguez said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said banks, pension funds, insurance agencies, and other state agencies will be signing a number of memoranda of agreement (MoAs) to develop a shared cyber defense strategy.

They were also tasked to form a working group that will determine the potential cybersecurity threats and cyber fraud they may be exposed to and develop countermeasures.

The institutions covered by the order are: the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank), United Coconut Planters’ Bank (UCPB), the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP); the Insurance Commission (IC), Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth), Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and Social Security System (SSS), the Bureaus of the Treasury (BTr), Internal Revenue (BIR), and Customs (BoC).

Mr. Dominguez said expanded digital technology use during the pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of such systems.

“We are serious in protecting our national interests and ensuring the safety of citizen information so we are taking steps to heighten our digital protection strategies,” Mr. Dominguez said.

“Investing in cybersecurity is not only a crucial national security concern, but is also indispensable to protecting sensitive citizen information stored in the systems of our GFIs and other state-run institutions,” he added. — Beatrice M. Laforga

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