Cyber Dialogue: Capacity Building Needs in the Critical Information Infrastructure Sectors

November 22 2023 - November 22 2023 | Manila, Philippines

Written by: Allan Salim Cabanlong, Regional Director South-East Asia

On November 22, 2023, at Novotel Manila Phillipines, CyberGuardians Inc organized the “Cyber Dialogue: Capacity Building Needs in the Critical Information Infrastructure Sectors” in collaboration with Women in Security Alliance Philippines (WiSAP) with the support of the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE) Southeast Asia Hub. The dialogue addressed the evolving cybersecurity threats. The event was attended by a diverse group of stakeholders from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Philippine Standards (DTI-BPS), the National Security Council (NSC), the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), the private sector, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

The forum presented an ideal opportunity for key stakeholders to address the urgent need for improved cybersecurity measures, particularly in the telecommunications sectors. The discussions emphasized the necessity of a unified cybersecurity standards, including the Cybersecurity Knowledge Base (CKB) and Network Equipment Security Assurance Scheme (NESAS), among other ISO/IEC Standards. The event promoted a collaborative and mutual understanding environment among participants by acknowledging the importance of unified cybersecurity standards, namely CKB and NESAS, and emphasizing that ensuring cyberspace security is a collective responsibility. The dialogue was also a testament to the power of diverse perspectives in finding innovative solutions to complex problems in building and retaining cyber institutions.

Key takeaways from the dialogue included the need to strengthen the capacity of these sectors through effective training, education, and awareness programs. There was a shared understanding of the importance of promoting a culture of cybersecurity that includes robust security measures and policies, proactive monitoring, and rapid response mechanisms. The event also highlighted the pivotal role of women in the field of cybersecurity. The partnership with WiSAP underscored the importance of gender diversity in the field, which brings unique insights and approaches to tackling cybersecurity issues.

The dialogue concluded with a commitment from all stakeholders to continue working collaboratively towards the development and implementation of robust unified cybersecurity standards, thus ensuring the security and integrity of the region’s digital infrastructure. The Cyber Dialogue has undoubtedly set a new standard for cybersecurity discussions in the region. It has positioned itself as a beacon for future collaborations and has sparked a serious conversation about the need for a unified and robust approach to cybersecurity.