PHL businesses seen increasing cybersecurity budgets this year

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

MANY Philippine organizations are increasing their budgets for their cyber defenses this year, as they see heightened danger from online threats, global cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks said.

“More than half (56%) of Philippine organizations indicated that they have been discussing their cybersecurity strategy on a monthly basis,” the company said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday, citing its “State of Cybersecurity Report ASEAN 2022.”

The company surveyed 500 respondents from businesses in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

At the same time, Palo Alto Networks found that 64% of respondents in the Philippines have increased their cybersecurity budgets for this year.

Meanwhile, 93% of them expressed confidence in their cybersecurity efforts, while 41% expressed extreme confidence.

The company noted that the rising digital transactions with suppliers and other third parties were the primary concerns of 53% of organizations polled in the Philippines.

Also, 94% of Philippine-based organizations surveyed accelerated digital transformation initiatives to address the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

These transformation initiatives include expanding remote work force (65%), expanding smart devices footprint or using smart devices to enhance business outcomes (62%), and increasing investment in mobile applications (61%).

Local organizations are seen improving their cybersecurity strategies through identity and access management (57%), adopting cloud security (55%), revamping threat detection and correlation systems/platform (42%), implementing a fifth-generation (5G) security strategy (42%), and securing internet of things or operational strategy (39%).

The company also saw a “high” (82%) degree of 5G readiness among organizations in the country.

“The Philippines is the second-highest country in the [region] where the business leaders are confident of their cybersecurity measures and this speaks volumes about our nation’s awareness as well as preparedness to potential cyberattacks,” said Oscar Visaya, the Philippines country manager at Palo Alto Networks.

“Having said that, Philippine organizations should continue to focus on post-COVID cyber protection in order to stay ahead of the evolving cyber threats,” he added.