SEC chair Emilio Aquino

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urged corporate Philippines to strengthen cybersecurity especially now that coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown protocols have prompted more and more people to migrate various transactions into the digital space.

In a June 9 notice, the SEC encouraged corporations to assess their exposure to cybersecurity risks and craft the appropriate policies and measures, in light of recent reports of hacking incidents.

“Digital transformation benefits businesses, allowing them to improve their productivity and realize greater efficiencies, but not without risks,” SEC chair Emilio Aquino said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for digital technologies, as companies shifted to low-touch and online-only services in response to the stringent social distancing and quarantine measures imposed across the world.

In the Philippines, digital technologies have allowed some companies to sustain their operations amid stringent quarantine measures. As digital transactions increased, however, reports of phishing or using social engineering to steal one’s log-in credentials, data breaches and other cyberattacks likewise proliferated.

“Cybersecurity is more than an IT matter,” Aquino said. “It is a corporate governance issue that companies should give serious attention to and proactively manage, as cyberattacks could damage their reputation, disrupt their operations, and eventually jeopardize their profitability and enterprise value.”


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