Kaspersky Lab Reveals PH Threat Landscape, Advocates Public-Private Collaboration in its First CyberSecurity Summit with the DICT

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Kaspersky Lab, in cooperation with the Department of Communication and Information Technology (DICT), held its first-ever cybersecurity summit in the Philippines last Thursday, August 03, to jump-start the collaboration of the two entities in helping the local business sector understand, evaluate, and strengthen their cybersecurity policies.

Dubbed “CyberSecurity Summit 2017”, the conference promoted the sharing of intelligence and technology between public and private sectors to better combat the escalating number of cyberattacks against businesses in the country.

“As one of the fastest growing economies in the Asia Pacific region, it is undoubtedly high-time for the Philippines to tackle cybersecurity seriously. Its impressive economic numbers and its growing, active online population make the country a ripe target in the eyes of cybercriminals. As a private company actively working with governments and police officers around the world against online crimes, Kaspersky Lab is more than willing to help the Philippine government spread cybersecurity awareness among Filipinos and thwart cybercrimes by sharing our expertise and understanding about information security,” said Stephan Neumeier, Managing Director at Kaspersky Lab Asia Pacific.

For the first time, Kaspersky Lab’s top security analyst in Asia Pacific set foot in the Philippines to provide an overview of the local threat landscape. Vitaly Kamluk, Director of the Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) at Kaspersky Lab APAC, zeroed in on organized cyberattacks targeting the Philippines.

At the same event, the DICT formally unveiled its department order which is critical to the implementation of the National CyberSecurity Plan 2022 (NCSP) and will ensure the protection of government networks, critical infrastructures, and individuals. The NCSP was recently formulated as the government’s initial step in beefing up the country’s cybersecurity capabilities.

“Cybersecurity is a whole of nation approach. We must work together to attain a cyber resilient Philippines,” said Allan Cabanlong, Assistant Secretary for CyberSecurity and Enabling Technologies of the DICT.

Kaspersky Lab also presented during the summit its Enterprise Cybersecurity powered by HuMachine Intelligence® — a combination of threat intelligence big data, robotic machine learning capabilities and the ingenuity and experience of human experts — developed by the cybersecurity company to solve today’s more complex and focused threats.

“The latest figures from the Kaspersky Cybersecurity Index revealed 50% of Filipino digital users are still unaware of online dangers. In our Kaspersky Security Network report alone, some 16 thousand Internet-borne malware infections were detected on computers of Filipino users with Kaspersky Lab products from April to June this year. The reported infections were either through visiting infected websites or downloading malicious files to the computer. With cyber threats aimed at businesses of all sizes anywhere, there’s now an even more resounding call for enterprises to have security policies that go beyond software to also include educating its people to strengthen their practical skills, so they can effectively contribute to the security of the organization,” said Neumeier.

The whole day conference included simulations and workshops on cybersecurity implementations in three major sectors such as government, banking and finance, and critical infrastructure facilitated by executives from Kaspersky Lab.

State of Mobile Threats and Targeted Attacks in the Philippines

In his presentation, Kaspersky Lab’s elite security researcher Vitaly Kamluk revealed that the Philippines is now the eighth (8th) most attacked country globally by mobile malware in 2016. Fresh data from Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) showed over three-in-10 (34.97%) Filipinos with smartphones have been infected by this type of threat last year.

KSN is a complex, distributed infrastructure that processes depersonalized cybersecurity-related data streams from millions of voluntary Kaspersky Lab product users around the world.

Kamluk also disclosed for the first time four Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) targeting organizations in the country for the past 12 months. An APT is a type of attack which involves organized and sophisticated hacking into the networks of the target company or individual.

The cybersecurity expert named the following APT groups and the dates of their infection into companies and organizations in the Philippines:

Diplomatic Duck (September 2016)
Naikon Kaba1 (January 2017)
Tropic Trooper (March 2017)
Spring Dragon (July 2017)

“From only 15.7% of Filipinos attacked by mobile malware during the first quarter of 2016, the country ended up scoring 34.97% of smartphone users on average who were successfully infected with mobile malware last year. Our research and threat analysis has also uncovered four high-profile targeted attacks within a span of 12 months aimed against facilities and companies in the Philippines. Computer breaches and malware outbreaks are happening non-stop now, the effects are being felt and seen to affect human lives. There is no other way but to create a country with people and organizations concerned, aware, and vigilant in protecting themselves and the nation’s cyberspace,” explained Kamluk.