Globe unveils hi-tech security center to fight cyber attacks

Chris Schnabel
Globe unveils hi-tech security center to fight cyber attacks
The telco reinforces its data and network defenses for itself and potential clients as cyber threats mount

MANILA, Philippines – Globe Telecom, through its IT tech arm Globe business, unveiled on Wednesday, March 15, a state-of-the-art cyber-security center to protect clients’ data as well as its own in the face of an increasingly hostile digital environment.

The new Globe Advanced Security Operations Center (ASOC) houses the infrastructure and teams which deliver customer service, platform management, threat detection, threat hunting and incident response for both Globe and its customers.

The facility was built in partnership with global information security firm Trustwave and is linked with Trustwave’s network of 9 federated ASOC’s and 1,600 security experts worldwide. Trustwave was acquired by Globe’s strategic partner Singtel last year.

“The Philippines is a known target from attacks coming from various countries. More importantly, the level of cyber security in the country is quite low among Philippine enterprises,” said Globe CEO Ernest Cu at the ASOC unveiling.

Another of Globe’s existing IT security partners, FireEye, pointed out last year that the Philippines is twice as likely to face cyber attacks than the global average.

A 2015 report from global antivirus software developer Kapersky Labs also ranked the Philippines 33rd out of 233 countries that are prone to cyber security threats.

Beyond the rankings, two high-profile incidents last year, the Bangladesh bank heist and the hacking of the Comelec election data, demonstrated the weakness of the country’s network security infrastructure.

Cu pointed out that Globe itself thought it was well-protected before consulting with experts and embarking on a $30-million expenditure program over 3 years to upgrade its capabilities.

“It’s a continuing program to make sure we are well-protected. We don’t see an end as it’s a never ending threat and we are responsible enough to export those capabilities that we have learned to make sure our clients get the same protection,” he said.

The Globe head also noted that the new facility also houses a special team called Spider labs which carries out data hacking forensics and researches future threats.

As part of that duty, the team at Spider labs also regularly performs ethical or “white hat” hacking to identify potential threats to a network.

Complying with new cyber laws

The telco identified firms in the financial sectors, especially banks and credit card companies, as it target clients for its newly upgraded security services.

Besides financial firms, BPOs are another potential market as they regularly handle client’s sensitive data.

Cu said that the recently enforced Data Privacy Act by the National Privacy Commission (NPC) opens the door to more clients as well as potential cooperation with the government.

Earlier this year, the NPC issued a reminder to both public agencies and private enterprises to appoint data protection officers as soon as possible to comply with the law.

“What this service does is enable companies to comply with them. You don’t want to be violating those laws because you were infiltrated or the protection was not enough,” Cu said.

“You also need to consider more protection and more sophistication because the threats are ever-present,“ he added.—

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