Government to counter the rise of cybercrime rate

FREEPIK

Aligned with the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023 to 2028, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. adopted the National Cybersecurity Plan (NCSP) 2023 to 2028 to address the rising number of cyber threats and serve as a whole-of-nation roadmap in cyberspace.  

“We are strengthening all our efforts anti-cybercrime, from detection and response to case build-up and to resolution. We will continue to train our personnel in combatting cybercrime and enhance our cybersecurity capabilities,” President Marcos mentioned in his speech at the oath-taking of the Philippine National Police (PNP) star-rank officials last March 18. 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) NCSP 2023 – 2028 outlined the country’s policy direction and operational guidelines, creating a trusted, secure, and resilient cyberspace for Filipinos.  

“The latest threat that we have is cybercrime, where the emerging and evolving digital landscape faces threats that can undo its potential contribution to national growth,” the President said on leveraging technology to further protect the people from cyber threats. 

Aside from NCSP, the DICT amended its Cloud First Policy in 2020 to provide “clearer directives on policy coverage, data classification, and data security.” This policy mandated government departments and agencies to prioritize cloud computing solutions. 

“Understanding that cyber security, sovereign data, and artificial intelligence, of course, is of a critical need,” CTO Cloud Chief Operating Officer shared last May 9 at the 2nd Philippine CTO Summit. 

DICT Undersecretary Jeffrey Ian Dy stated that commitment to the Cloud First Policy established proper classification schemes in government data – essential to mitigate the risks of unauthorized access or disclosure. 

“Cloud services offer flexibility, security, and cost efficiency,” Mr. Dy added.

Online scams as the top cybercrime in Q1 

In April, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) revealed 4,469 cybercrime incidents in the first quarter of 2024, a 21.84% rise compared to the previous quarter. 

Further, ACG chief Maj. Gen. Sidney S. Hernia asserted that online scam is the top cybercrime this Q1, with 990 documented cases followed by investment scams and debit/credit card fraud. 

“Increased online activity and the advancement of technology are some of the reasons why online sales scams increased. People diverted to online shopping instead of going to the mall. The rise in e-commerce and online platforms provides scammers with more opportunities to perpetrate their schemes,” Mr. Hernia explained on the rising cases of online fraud. 

Additionally, DICT Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center Executive Director Alexander K. Ramos warned the public in an interview during the BusinessWorld Economic Forum 2024 to use their mobile phones wisely. 

“Everybody uses a cellphone, and this is the most vulnerable tool that everybody uses, regardless of what application you have for as long as you are cell phone base, you’re subject to attacks… Please stop clicking your phones very fast. Read carefully.” – Almira Louise S. Martinez