PICSPro: The country needs more Filipino cybersecurity professionals to fight increasing cyber attacks


With increasing cyber-attacks targeting small and medium-size enterprises as well as large corporations and conglomerates both globally and internationally, cybersecurity professionals need to upgrade their skills and equip themselves with the right tools in facing such escalating threats.

To address this, the Philippine Institute of Cyber Security Professionals (PICSPro) is taking up the cudgels for Filipino cybersecurity professionals to be able to obtain the knowhow, share best practices, and discuss important issues in safeguarding data, information systems and enterprises from breaches and compromise.

“PICSPro’s commitment is anchored on our vision, which is to advocate for the highest level of cybersecurity here in the Philippines,” PICSPro Chairman Angel Redoble said. “The best way to do that is to make cybersecurity more accessible and train professionals and hone their skills, to the point where they become globally-competitive.”

While threats continue to and become more sophisticated, expertise to address such attacks remains disproportionately inadequate, especially within vulnerable organizations.

“There is a global shortage of both cybersecurity practitioners to provide the necessary wherewithal for such vulnerable organizations as well as Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) who must provide the necessary strategy and leadership to address such inadequacy, and we have to fast track solutions for cybersecurity issues. And I ask myself, ‘what is it that we can do in PICSPro to help achieve that vision of promoting the highest level of cybersecurity in the Philippines while producing globally-competitive cybersecurity professionals?” PICSPro President Ashley Acedillo added.

Large organizations and enterprises are not exempted by their sheer size as even global brands from Japan, France, and Ireland have all recently fallen prey to ransomware, for example. A UK-based security software company has recently shared that Philippine organizations have spent an average of Php40 million to recover from these attacks – costs which cover the ransom paid and the costs incurred by the downtime.

The report further indicates that the cost of ransomware attacks on Philippine organizations, whether as ransom paid and/or remediation costs, have been up by 42% compared to 30% last year. With this, PICSPro believes that a focus on cybersecurity has never been as relevant in helping curb the growth of cybercrime by developing, nurturing and honing Filipino cybersecurity experts to help their organizations become more secure and prepared against the growing frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks.

PICSPro, as an organization of Filipino cybersecurity professionals from various industries, was established with a mission of reinforcing public awareness, for the common mind to have a better understanding of cybersecurity, and building cybersecurity professionals with the use of an educational framework that provides adequate training and certification.

PICSPro’s framework of engagement consists of five pillars which include:

  1. Strategies for development of a comprehensive cybersecurity legislation that is interoperable and applicable globally;
  2. Strategies for the development of a global framework for security protocols, standards and software accreditation schemes;
  3. Strategies for the creation of organizational structures and policies to integrate Philippine efforts on cybercrime, threat surveillance, warning and incident response, and a generic and universal digital identity system;
  4. Strategies to facilitate human and institutional capacity building in pillars 1, 2 and 3; and
  5. Proposals for a framework for international dialogue, cooperation, and coordination.

Backed by industry leaders such as RSA, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, F5 Networks, and Gigamon as well as commitments of support from various other organizations, PICSPro has been able to establish over 20 chapters nationwide.


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Gabriel

Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.