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PLDT, Smart, and Palo Alto Networks partner to protect children online

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Global cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks is working with PLDT and Smart Communications to strengthen the telcos’ Child Protection Platform and enable a safer online experience for children. The platform has blocked more than 1 billion attempts to access URLs with child sexual abuse material (CSAM) since November 2021.

A recent report revealed that in 2020 an estimated 2 million children in the Philippines were exposed to content that is considered inappropriate. The same report also highlighted that one in five children in the Philippines aged 12 to 17 encountered CSAM while using the internet.

PLDT’s and Smart’s Child Protection Platform is a cybersecurity solution developed to address these problems by blocking illegal CSAM traffic at the content level, thereby effectively restricting access to CSAM that have found their way into legitimate domains.

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The telcos have long been at the forefront of the global fight against online child abuse and human trafficking, as part of their efforts to uphold the child protection principles of Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009.

They have also joined peers and other stakeholders from the private and government sectors in calling for the immediate passage of the Anti-OSAEC bill. The proposed law will institutionalize the taking down of websites that stream or host CSAM, as well as impose stiffer penalties against parties involved in child abuse cases.

Powered by Palo Alto Networks’ technology, PLDT and Smart’s Child Protection Platform blocks traffic at the content level and comply with regulatory requirements pertaining to illegal CSAM. Palo Alto Network Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) and Cloud-Delivered Security Services including Threat Prevention, Advanced URL Filtering, and WildFire scrutinize the content and convert URLs for redirection if CSAM-related traffic is found. Through the matching of blocked URLs against the blocked listing policy, the solution put in place will then alert PLDT and Smart that the user is trying to access CSAM.

Also Read: PLDT Home, Google launch Be Internet Awesome online series

As the need to protect children from online harm continues to grow, Palo Alto Networks ensures that the solution it provides to the PLDT and Smart Child Protection Platform is designed with scale and speed to integrate any future challenges that may arise in fighting perpetrators of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

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