Philippine Air Force to build cybersecurity center in new deal with local tycoon

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be building a new cybersecurity center with funding from local tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan.

Pangilinan, President and CEO of Philippine conglomerate PLDT Group, will be building the MVP Cybersecurity Center for Excellence to enhance the PAF’s ability to counter cyberattacks.

This new facility can also be seen as part of the Philippine government’s digitalisation effort. PAF spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Aristides Galang, said that the center will house PAF’s other security departments, including the security operations center, the network operations center, and PAF’s cyber range.

Pangilinan’s PLDT Group is the parent company of Smart Telecommunications, one of the two largest telecommunications service providers in the country.

“We are one with the government in ensuring that our country is safe from cyber threats. We look forward to more engagements with the Philippine Air Force and the Armed Forces of the Philippines on this front,” said Pangilinan.

This is not the first collaboration between PAF and PLDT. In August 2020, both parties signed an agreement that saw PLDT’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) provide cybersecurity training to military officers in the PAF.

Philippine Air Force joins hands with Smart Communications to counter cyberthreats

Over the past month, the Philippines has been making international news for its involvement in cybercrime. In light of this, the Philippine Air Force announced that it will seek the expertise of Smart Communications to train its officers in handling cybersecurity threats.

A subsidiary of Philippines’ largest conglomerate PDLT Group, Smart Communications will provide professional cyber literacy training to twenty Philippine Air Force officers. The partnership will see the launch of the country’s first Online Cybersecurity Executive Course.

“Over the years, the PLDT Group has been investing in improving its cybersecurity capabilities to make sure we are able to combat cyberthreats. Today’s ‘cyber warriors’ do not sleep, because their enemies are always awake,” said Angel T. Redoble, PLDT’s Chief Information Security Officer.

PLDT Group has also signed an agreement with PAF. The company’s Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG), will deploy its services to assist the military in enhancing their military service’s cyber operations and upgrade their digital infrastructure security.

Local university, Asian Institute of Management’s (AIM) School of Education and Lifelong Learning will also be working with Smart Telecommunications and PAF.

“The partnership is timely to make organisations protect its technology-based innovations since, according to research, potential economic loss due to cybersecurity incidents in the Philippines can reach as much as US$3.5 billion,” added Dr. Jikyeong Kang, President and Dean of AIM.

The course will discuss cybersecurity challenges via three dimensions: leadership, management, and technology. C-suites, managers, leaders, and executives will be taught to address cybersecurity challenges on both the operational and policy levels.

“I enjoin all organisations in the country to look at cybersecurity as an integral component of their growth and survival strategy,” added Dr. Kang.

The Online Cybersecurity Executive Course begins in October 2020, and will be conducted for ten half-days over Zoom.

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PLDT and Philippine Air Force team up to train ‘cyber warriors’ against security threats

PLDT, a major telecommunications company in the Philippines, has signed an agreement with the Philippine Air Force to provide cybersecurity training for their ‘cyber warriors’.

Along with subsidiaries, ePLDT and Smart Communications, PLDT Group will enhance the military service’s cyber operations by upgrading the security of their digital infrastructures using ePLDT’s Security Operation Center, which provides the Philippine Air Force with their own dashboard to monitor cybersecurity operations.

“We are one with the government in ensuring that our country is safe from cyber threats,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, PLDT chair and CEO.

The training will take place through lectures and hands-on management and operation sessions, working side-by-side with PLDT’s cybersecurity team.

This agreement is the latest in a line of efforts by PLDT to improve the country’s cybersecurity following the launch of a Cybersecurity Council chaired by Mr. Pangilinan to protect enterprises in the infrastructure and telecommunications space from the rising tide of cyber threats.

A first by a Philippine conglomerate, the Council complies with the Data Privacy Act and Cybercrime Prevention Act in the Philippines, requiring companies to safeguard customer data.

The Council is composed of representatives from Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation, Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Maynilad Water Services, Manila Electric, Philex Mining, Makati Medical Center, MediaQuest Holdings, Metropac Movers, PLDT Global, MVP Rewards and Keralty Philippines.

PLDT and Smart Communications also became involved in the Asian Institute of Management’s Cybersecurity Executive Course to help organisations manage cyber threats and build cyber-resilient infrastructures.

Securing smooth work-from-home arrangements during the pandemic

This week, PLDT’s information and communications technology arm, ePLDT, introduced a new cloud service to provide a simplified and secure platform to remotely manage desktops and cloud applications during work-from-home arrangements.

The Virtual Desktop solution aims to provide employees with secure access to corporate data and applications authorised by the company.

“Our aim at ePLDT is to help businesses accelerate their digital transformation, especially today as they navigate through the pandemic,” said Jovy Hernandez, the President and CEO of ePLDT.

The Virtual Desktop uses Microsoft Azure to deliver the security and simplified management promised by the cloud service.

“Our focus throughout this unprecedented time has been on making sure our customers, partners and communities around the world remain connected, productive and secure,” said Andres Ortola, the Country General Manager of Microsoft Philippines.

ePLDT has currently deployed 1,000 units of their Virtual Desktop solution within the PLDT group to allow a smooth and secure work-from-home arrangement.

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