In­vest in cy­ber se­cu­rity tools, ex­perts, firms urged

Cebu Daily News - - ENTERPRISE - By Jose Santino S. Bu­na­chita RE­PORTER

With tech­ni­cal lim­i­ta­tions on the part of law en­force­ment agen­cies, busi­nesses should also in­vest in equip­ment and per­son­nel to fend off cy­ber at­tacks.

Man­daue Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (MCCI) Pres­i­dent Stan­ley Go said busi­nesses should have a cy­ber se­cu­rity of­fi­cer aside from just an IT (in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy) of­fi­cer.

“Threats now are more on hack­ing and hold­ing sys­tems on hostage and they ask for ran­som. Our po­lice right now are mostly re­spond­ing to com­plaints like on­line li­bel and posts on so­cial me­dia,” said Go in a phone in­ter­view on Thurs­day when sought for com­ment on the chal­lenges law en­forcers face in han­dling cy­ber crime cases.

Go said busi­nesses could also em­ploy the ser­vices or equip­ment of third party providers.

Supt. Jay Guillermo, Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) Anti-Cy­berCrime Group (ACG) spokesper­son, cited the lack of co­op­er­a­tion of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies as among the chal­lenges they face in their work.

Guillermo said that they could only ap­peal for co­op­er­a­tion as the cur­rent laws had no pro­vi­sions com­pelling th­ese telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pa­nies to pro­vide the dig­i­tal ev­i­dence that they would need in their in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Co­op­er­a­tion from th­ese com­pa­nies are lim­ited to se­ri­ous cases of cy­ber­pornog­ra­phy and threats to na­tional se­cu­rity but even in th­ese case, it would take them as long as one to two years to get th­ese ev­i­dence.

This is why, Guillermo said, in or­der to avoid cy­ber crimes, in­ter­net users must ex­er­cise cau­tion es­pe­cially in pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion, and up­load­ing me­dia into the in­ter­net.

Aside from the chal­lenge of get­ting dig­i­tal ev­i­dence from tele­com firms, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, IT ex­perts and man­agers, who at­tended yes­ter­day’s Cy­ber Foren­sics Re­cov­ery and In­ves­ti­ga­tions Con­fer­ence at the City Sports Club, also cited the lack of equip­ment as a chal­lenge the au­thor­i­ties were fac­ing to keep up with the tech­nolo­gies to com­bat th­ese kinds of crime.

But the good thing is that highly-ad­vanced equip­ment are al­ready avail­able for use by both gov­ern­ment and pri­vate com­pa­nies, said Robert Arquiza, CEO of Worldtech In­for­ma­tion So­lu­tions Inc. which or­ga­nized the event.

“That is why we are try­ing­tomakethep­ub­li­caware of the re­al­ity of cy­ber crimes and that the threat is real es­pe­cially since a lot of use the in­ter­net and other ICT (in­for­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy) equip­ment,” he said.

Arquiza said that the Philip­pines needs to be more aware of the threats of cy­ber crimes con­sid­er­ing how Filipinos are avid users of the tech­nol­ogy and is even the num­ber one Face­book users for years al­ready.

Be­ing vo­ra­cious in­ter­net users has also led to some prob­lems specif­i­cally in Cebu which has be­come the num­ber one source of cy­ber pornog­ra­phy in Asia, he added.

De­spite the lag in the adop­tion of new tech­nol­ogy, Arquiza lauded the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) for see­ing the im­mi­nent threat of cy­ber crime and also al­lo­cat­ing bud­get in up­grad­ing their equip­ment.

Lim­i­ta­tions

Guillermo said that their cen­tral and re­gional of­fices had re­sponded to cy­ber crime com­plaints since 2013 and the cases have been grow­ing over the years.

For 2013, the PNP-ACG has re­sponded to only 150 com­plaints. This grew to 544 in 2014 and 1,098 in 2015. In 2016, they re­sponded to 1,937 com­plaints.

The high­est num­ber of in­ci­dent were recorded last year at 2,288. Ma­jor­ity of th­ese cases are on on­line li­bel (646), on­line scam or estafa (367), photo and video voyeurism (355), and on­line theft (250).

De­spite th­ese num­bers, Guillermo ad­mit­ted that it is still very small com­pared to the 44.5 mil­lion in­ter­net users in the coun­try based on 2016 data.

This is also due to their lack of man­power, he said.

“It has been very hard on us. We only have around 120 per­son­nel and only 60 of that are do­ing ac­tual in­ves­ti­ga­tions. The rest are do­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive work,” Guillermo said.

“The num­ber (of com­plaints we have acted on) is very few. Most of our cit­i­zens or the pub­lic do now know or do not want to com­plain about it. That is why what we are try­ing to also do is ed­u­cate the pub­lic on how to use their so­cial me­dia ac­counts, how to use their smart­phones and their com­put­ers,” he added.

CDN PHOTO/LITO TEC­SON

The Anti-Drone Gear and Magic cube are among the equip­ment in­tro­duced at the Cy­ber Foren­sic Re­cov­ery and In­ves­ti­ga­tion con­fer­ence at City Sports Club.

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