ADRi RTD: “Establishing a Strong and Credible Cyber Defense Posture in the Philippines”

The Indo-Pacific region’s increasing interconnectedness is reflected in the steady expansion of its digital sector, which has resulted in heightened connectivity among states. While there are advantages to a digitalized community, the Indo-Pacific continues to face security risks in cyberspace. Cyberattacks, cyber espionage, and other illicit digital activities have put states at risk and undermined their cybersecurity capabilities. Cybersecurity threats have compelled states to realign their strategic interests and strengthen their cyber capabilities in order to address these risks.

In line with the goal of strengthening its digital capabilities, the Philippines is, fair one of the twelve founding partners of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) which aims to create a stronger, fairer, and more resilient economy in the Indo-Pacific region. One of the framework’s key pillars, connected economy, involves addressing urgent concerns in the digital economy, including standards on cross-border data flows and data localization. Participation in the IPEF is crucial for the country to develop a coordinated response to cybersecurity threats.

The introduction of the National Cyber Security Plan 2022 and the commitment of the new administration to digitalization are promising developments. While building the country’s digital infrastructure can contribute to attracting more foreign and local investments, the expansion of the country’s digital infrastructures will help address its national security concerns, particularly in cyberspace.

In recognition of the risks posed by cybersecurity threats, the United States has been celebrating the month of October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month since 2004. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its public and private partners, including the National Cybersecurity Alliance, aim to increase cybersecurity awareness and provide guidance on protection methods and responsive actions. For its part, the US Embassy in the Philippines has been hosting workshops and training to commemorate the event. These initiatives highlight the importance of multilateral cooperation and public-private partnerships to mitigate cybersecurity risks.

In line with this, Stratbase ADR Institute, together with the US Embassy in the Philippines, hosted a hybrid event entitled, “Establishing a Strong and Credible Cyber Defense Posture in the Philippines” on 25 October 2022, Tuesday.

This forum sought to convene government agencies, private companies, technology experts, and civil society groups to discuss ways to effectively respond to cybersecurity threats and establish a strong and credible cyber defense posture in the Philippines.


Opening Remarks
Hon. Paul Joseph Mercado
Undersecretary for Special Concerns, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)

Protecting Cyber Infrastructures for Economic Security
Mr. Paolo Pascetta
Program Manager, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Strengthening Global Capacity to Prevent and Counter Cybercrime
Mr. Dan Ennis
Former Director, Threat Operations Center, U.S. National Security Agency

Cyber Defense Posture and its Policy Implications
Dr. Sherwin Ona 
Associate Professor of Political Science, De La Salle University – Manila

Cyber Strategy of Small States in the Indo-Pacific
Dr. Francis Domingo
Assistant Professor of International Studies, De La Salle University – Manila

Cybersecurity as a Matter of National Security
Mr. Raymund “Mon” Liboro
Former Commissioner and Chairman, National Privacy Commission

Philippine Defensive Cyber Operations
Col. Walter Icaro PA, MNSA
Commander, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Cyber Group

How the Government Should Approach Securing the Country’s Cyber Space from Internal and External Cyber Attacks
Mr. Dale Pascual Jose
National Technology Officer, Microsoft Philippines

Closing Remarks
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute

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