PLDT and Smart technical field experts shared cybersecurity and data management best practices with the finalists of the PLDT and Smart Startup Innovation Challenge. Organized by PLDT Innolab, the learning sessions aimed to further arm the participating startups with the importance of compliance to data management and preparedness to handle potential cyber threats.
“In an ever-increasingly digital world, we recognize the importance of injecting cybersecurity and data privacy into the DNA of startups. This mindset will help them become equipped in any future corporate collaborations,” said PLDT Head of Innovations Lab and Ecosystem Partnerships (INNOLAB) Kristine Dara Ever Juan.
One of the topics under the #CyberSmart module focused on protection of social media assets. Elijah Mendoza, Smart Senior Manager for Digital Communications, warned innovators against phishing activities that aim to trick victims into revealing their personal information and other login credentials.
“Beware of unidentified callers or senders. Never share sensitive data. Do not open links from suspicious images. This is a common tactic scammers use to lure victims to phishing websites,” he said.
To protect digital assets, Mendoza emphasized the importance of keeping One-Time Passwords or OTPs private and how legitimate organizations will never ask for it at any point.
Carl Balagot, Head of Awareness, Training, and User Adoption of PLDT and Smart’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG), urged innovators to educate team members on cyber threats. He recommended limiting user privileges to data and systems necessary for their roles. Balagot also suggested using intrusion detection systems, security information and event management tools, and network traffic analysis to detect anomalies.
“Businesses need an incident response plan. It outlines the steps to be taken in a security incident, as well as the person to contact, how to isolate affected systems, and what to communicate with stakeholders,” added Balagot.
Dinjo Constantino, Learning and Communications Executive at the PLDT Data Privacy Office, unpacked the module on Data Privacy and Protection to help startups manage customer information.
“You need to be transparent why you are collecting customer data. There must be a legitimate reason why you’re processing it. The information being asked needs to be proportionate for the purpose of its collection,” reminded Constantino.
He also discussed the Privacy Impact Assessment, a decision-making tool used to identify and mitigate privacy risks at the beginning of a project and throughout its data lifecycle.
Ten teams made it to the finals of the PLDT and Smart Startup Innovation Challenge. Cebu-based Xeleqt AI with its AIOT-powered end-to-end HR Automation Solutions took home the grand prize, during the Final Pitching and Demo Day held on the second day of the Philippine Digital Convention 2023 (PH Digicon 2023) organized by PLDT Enterprise.
The efforts of PLDT and Smart to share CyberSmart tips are rooted in their customer-centric culture where they aim to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from threats and cyber-attacks. The PLDT Group’s initiatives to boost startups and innovators support the government’s Go Digital Pilipinas Movement and the Digital Infrastructure pillar of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), which seek to elevate lives of Filipinos through digital services.