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Can we attribute the improved rank of PH on local infections to Filipinos’ mindfulness to  online safety and data privacy?

 
 
 
Yesterday (January 28, 2020) is the observance of the international data privacy day. I’m wondering if Filipinos now are more mindful of their personal data and respectful of another person’s privacy.
 
 
The recent press briefer from Kaspersky somehow gave us a hint if Filipinos are now keen to online safety and data privacy.
 
These gave us mixed signals.
 
In one hand, the report says PH is no. 1 recipient of online attacks in South East Asia for the last quarter of 2019, and 7th over-all worldwide. But at the same time, PH local infection ranking improved because less threats were detected (less malware attacks on computers from removable media such as USBs, CDs, DVDs and other “offline” methods), compare to the same period on 2018
 
 
This report is based form the recent data from the Kaspersky Security Network (KSN).
 

KSN is a complex distributed infrastructure dedicated to processing cybersecurity-related data streams from millions of voluntary participants around the world. The statistics in this report are based on completely anonymous data obtained from Kaspersky products installed on users’ computers in the Philippines. This technology assists Kaspersky in the swift detection of new malware, identification of its source, and blocking of its launch on users’ computers. It generates reports for countries with more than 10,000 Kaspersky users.

 

  • For  Internet-borne threats, a total of 3,906,410 web threats were found in computers of Kaspersky users in the Philippines which is 31.6% overall on the last Q of 2019. This has placed the country in the top spot in Southeast Asia and seventh place worldwide in Kaspersky’s 2019 ranking, climbing six notches up from its 13th spot in the same period in 2018.
  • Fewer local threat were observed, the Philippines is currently at 64th place globally with only 8,998,044 detections in Q4 of 2019 which is a significant drop from its 74th place with 11,757,863 detections in Q4 of 2018.
  • Threat sources also went down to 76,900 incidents in Q4 last year from 453,788 incidents in the same period in 2018. Threat sources are locations of detected malware shared from servers hosted in the Philippines.

 
 
By taking the top spot, I believe it is reflective of the perception of online attackers of the country’s information security infrastructure, and capabilities of Filipinos to protect themselves from potential cyber crime and privacy breach.
 
 
But I share the view of Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky, that the significant drop in local threat infections is good news. In my opinion, Filipinos now understood the importance of online safety, data privacy and information security. Taking proactive measures to protect themselves.
 
 
In order to be secured against the evolving threats online, security experts advise the following basic but important steps:
 

  • Carefully check the link before visiting a site, especially for misspelling or other irregularities, even if you think it’s a site you’ve visited regularly before.
  • Enter your username and password only over a secure connection. Avoid logging in to online banks and similar services via public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Be aware that URLs that begin with the “https” may not always be secure.
  • Don’t trust emails from unknown senders until you can verify the authenticity of their origins.
  • Always run a system with a quality, up-to-date anti-malware program.

 
 
For companies, security experts recommend the following:
 

  • Educating employees about the risks – like the basic rule to not open emails from people they do not know as well as attachments or links.
  • Advocating good password habits in the workforce including using unique passwords and keeping it safe from anyone’s access.
  • Setting up tiered levels of access, giving permission only to those who need it on each level.
  • Incorporating global threat feeds into their systems which can provide in-depth visibility into cyberthreats targeting organizations
  • Conducting regular cybersecurity training which will deliver knowledge on latest threats and more importantly to improve employee habits and form new behavior patterns for a safer work environment.

 
 
 

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