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Philippine government departments amp up cybersecurity for all

An event aimed to address the current cybersecurity threats and the proliferation of attacks on cyberspace has recently transpired.

As reported, the Department of National Defence (DND) has shown full support for the event, which was designed to secure and strengthen the critical cyber security infrastructure across the country.

The Cyber Bayanihan 2.0 was made possible through the partnership of the Cyber Group of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the private company, Synetcom Philippines Inc.

It has also involved other respectable information technology (IT) experts from various companies.

The military and civilian IT experts agreed to get involved in educating government agencies, communities and vertical markets on the importance of new technologies in cyberspace.

With the theme, “Securing the Philippines’ Critical Cybersecurity Infostructure”, it aimed to bridge the gap between the cyber awareness of stakeholders and the implementation of a viable and strengthened government Security Operations Centre (SOC).

Moreover, the gathering was very timely as it complemented the government’s public-private partnership programs to boost the country’s cyber defence capabilities.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) launched the #BeCyberSafe project with the goal of teaching Filipino school children to protect themselves from online child abuse or exploitation.

There are three major components to the project, which ensures that the scope of child protection extends to cyberspace.

The first component is Project for Keeps.

It is a social media movement created to empower children, through their guardians, to take control of their online profiles and keep themselves safe from online strangers and predators.

The second component is Dalir-Eskwela. The term was coined from the combination of the words daliri, which is finger; and eskwela, which is school.

This component offers a range of educational materials including videos, brochures and posters that discuss issues on cyber safety.

These issues cover cyber bullying to online chatting, gaming and pornography.

This component stresses the power of the fingers in connecting a child to the online world, including the threats posed by online connectivity.

The third component is Chatbot, however, is still in the development phase.

It will be a social media page with a messaging feature that will be used as a helpline where child protection issues faced in cyberspace may be reported and addressed.

This program is recognition of the harm that can be inflicted through cyberspace.

The Child Protection Policy of DepEd aims to nurture learners in a safe environment, not only in the physical sphere, but also in cyberspace.

In this digital age when children socialise and spend considerable time online, the Department understands that their right to protection against violence and abuse should also be realised online.

A child in the cyber world is a whole person with dignity, as much as a child in the physical world. Everyone is called to respect and protect each one of them, wherever they may be.

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