It is undeniable that people nowadays are becoming more and more reliant on the Internet in the way they do business and in communicating with one another. In 2015, Time reported that 3.2 billion people in the world use the Internet. With this growing participation of the Internet in the lives of people, there’s a growing concern with regards to the safety of the information exchanged through it against attacks, threats, and other uncertainties.
Global Cybersecurity Index 2017
In recent news, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has assessed the Cybersecurity efforts of 193 countries for 2017, making up the Global Cybersecurity Index. The union ranked the countries based on the following factors:
Legal. Measured based on the existence of legal institutions and frameworks dealing with cybersecurity and cybercrime.
Technical. Measured based on the existence of technical institutions and frameworks dealing with cybersecurity.
Organizational. Measured based on the existence of policy coordination institutions and strategies for cybersecurity development at the national level.
Capacity Building. Measured based on the existence of research and development, education and training programmes; certified professionals and public sector agencies fostering capacity building.
Cooperation. Measured based on the existence of partnerships, cooperative frameworks, and information sharing networks.
Philippines Ranked 39th
In the study, it was revealed that the Philippines ranked 39th among the 193 countries surveyed. With this ranking, this means that the Philippines is already in the “maturing” stage, the second in the three stages, with the first, referred to as “initiating” and the final referred to as “leading”. To further, this means that the Philippines has already developed programs and initiatives to further its cybersecurity efforts.
In the five sectors that the authors of the study based their ranking, the Philippines scored high in the legal factor. According to information security expert Rey Lugtu, this is because of the following laws that the country already have in place:
Data Privacy Act or Republic Act No. 10173. Established in 2012, the Data Privacy Act “(1) protects the privacy of individuals while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth; (2) regulates the collection, recording, organization, storage, updating or modification, retrieval, consultation, use, consolidation, blocking, erasure or destruction of personal data; and (3) ensures that the Philippines complies with international standards set for data protection through National Privacy Commission.”
Anti-Wiretapping Law or Republic Act No. 4200. Passed in 1965, the Anti-Wiretapping Law primarily “prohibits the tapping of any wire or cable or using other devices to record, intercept, or secretly overhear any private communication or spoken word when it is unauthorized by all parties in the conversation, except when it is done pursuant to a court order and complies with all conditions imposed by the law.”
E-commerce law or Republic Act No. 8792. Also known as the “Electronic Commerce Act of 2000”, it is an act “providing for the recognition and use of electronic commercial and non-commercial transactions and documents, penalties for unlawful use thereof, and for other purposes.”
Singapore topped the Global Cybersecurity Index, followed by US, Malaysia, Oman, Estonia, Mauritius, Australia, Georgia, France, and Canada.
Indeed, this is a great news for the Philippines. Nonetheless, there’s still more work to do to further the country’s cybersecurity efforts. This is especially important given the country’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, which continues to be a strong contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).