US envoy says cyber resilience best achieved via partnerships

THE PHILIPPINES needs to work with partners who share its “core values” to bolster its defenses against cyberattack, the US ambassador said.

 “Digital solidarity is a valuable principle for centering international technology efforts because it aligns our national interests with those of partners who share our core values in key diplomatic areas, governance, combating transnational crime and building resilience,” US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay L. Carlson said.

She was speaking at the Center for a New American Security and Stratbase ADR Institute event on Monday, billed as “Safeguarding the Indo-Pacific: Strengthening Partnerships to Meet Emerging Cybersecurity Threats.”

Ms. Carlson noted that the Philippines recently joined the Counter Ransomware Initiative, a platform of over 50 countries that share information to counter emerging threats in real time.

According to Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John E. Uy, the Philippines was once reckoned as among the most cyberattacked nations in Southeast Asia and tenth globally.

Mr. Uy’s department responded to 3,210 of 3,9025 reported cyber incidents as of May 2024, mitigating and closing 82% of these cases with an average resolution time of 30 days.

“The Philippines and the US can and must find greater opportunities to collaborate and cooperate in cyber related exercises, training and education, in talent development, in technology transfer, and in joint cyber defense,” John Allen, former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, said.

Mr. Allen was formerly the principal director of Asia and Pacific Affairs at the US Defense department.

Ms. Carlson noted that last year’s Balikatan joint military exercise included a cyber defense component for the first time.

She added that in a few weeks, the US will host the first US-Philippines Cyber and Digital Dialogue. — Aubrey Rose A. Inosante