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PLDT, Smart fend off record cyber-attacks in 2023, urge government action

That's nearly 9,000% increase from the previous year
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The PLDT and Smart reported that it faced a staggering 16 billion cyber-attacks in 2023, a nearly 9,000% increase from the previous year. The telco giant also called on the government to lead the country’s cybersecurity strategy amid rising threats to critical infrastructures.

According to Angel T. Redoble, Chief Information Security Officer of PLDT, Smart, and ePLDT, the PLDT Group’s strong cybersecurity culture enabled them to block the attempts to breach their network and assets. He said that they constantly enhance their capabilities by training their agents, upgrading their tools, and engaging partners who can help them secure their customers.

“We are always on our toes, and we continue to beef up our capabilities. Our cybersecurity agents undergo regular training. We upgrade our tools. And we engage partners who can help us secure our most important asset – our customers,” said Redoble.

Redoble noted that cyber-attacks tend to surge during holidays when people are more distracted by the festivities. He said that the PLDT Group is always on high alert, not only to protect the company but also the Filipino people who rely on their services, especially in an increasingly digital landscape.

Cyber-attacks are not only targeting private companies but also government websites. He cited a major incident in 2023 that was believed to be state-sponsored and motivated by geopolitical tensions. He adds that cyber-attacks have become matters of national security, and the government needs to take charge of the country’s cybersecurity strategy.

“We are in the middle of a cyber war. We need to secure our country’s vital infrastructures like energy, telecoms, and financial services. If we talk about cyber resiliency, stakeholders – both private entities and government units – must collaborate. And we need the government to orchestrate our efforts,” Redoble said.

The PLDT Group recently joined the global Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), a network of cybersecurity experts that share data and tools to combat cyber threats and attacks. The move will further boost its cybersecurity capabilities and strengthen its playbook against cyber-attacks.

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