February 26, 2024

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Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission mandating firms to have data security

The Philippine government is drafting a circular that shall require regulated entities to create data security models amid increased risks for cyber-related threats. In a document uploaded to its website, the nation’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requested comments for a draft circular, which shall mandate registered companies to create cybersecurity frameworks and data security teams. 

The Commission referred to regulated entities as all broker-dealers, asset managers, transfer agents, self-regulatory organisations and entities which have secured secondary licences from the SEC. 

Under the draft circular, cybersecurity shall mean all activities that can lessen the effects of cyber risks. These acts include identification, detection and response to these risks. It shall also refer to procedures and methods that would protect data from being compromised. 

Part of the obligation of regulated entities under the cybersecurity framework is to identify critical assets and risk management and surveillance systems. To do this, entities must make an inventory of software and hardware equipment. They may also avail of routine security assessments with partners or third parties. 

Establishment of an information security group 

Once completed, the circular shall mandate regulated bodies to create an information security group. It shall be a separate entity from the regulated body’s information technology teams. 

The Commission added that the data security team shall be led by a chief information security officer (CISO). The CISO’s role will be to oversee the cybersecurity framework and “ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information” of the regulated body.  The CISO shall also engage in close coordination with security managers, in line with goals of implementing a functional security plan and a long-term operations strategy.  

One of the roles of the data security team is external and internal monitoring of data traffic. Doing this would allow it to track any unusual access to confidential data. Aside from these, the team may conduct a workforce assessment. This may include conducting a proper screening of employees, as well as third party vendors and contractors. 

In anticipation of critical cyber-related threats, regulated entities must formulate an incident response plan. Business continuity plans and disaster recovery initiatives must likewise be prioritised. The security framework shall include communication plans to inform stockholders of the effects of cyber threats and their magnitude. Conducting drills in anticipation of a critical cyber threat may also be resorted to, as required under the framework. A business impact analysis shall also be indispensable. 

In order to recover quickly from any cyberattack, the SEC suggested that a disaster recovery plan (DRP) must be well-integrated into the information security framework. This is a written plan outlining steps to recover data systems through another alternative facility after an incident of hardware or software failure. The DRP may be referred to in cases of destruction of company facilities or equipment. This usually applies in cases of major disruptions in services which have the result of denying any access to primary data infrastructure during an extended period of time. It addresses system disruptions that will need relocation. 

This announcement by the SEC of the new requirement aimed at fighting cybercrime comes after news of a data hack of the Solicitor General’s website. The latest data breach showed that the government is still vulnerable to cyber risks. 

The country remains committed to integrating innovative strategies with government services. As earlier reported by OpenGov Asia, Congress has doubled the nation’s 2021 budget for the National Broadband Program of the Department of Information and Communications Technology. The NBP is expected to boost internet connectivity and in the long run, generate more investments by improving the ease of doing business in the country. 

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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