Cybersecurity setup in the works — Finance dep’t

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Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez speaks during a briefing at the Malacanan Palace on February 28, 2017. -- KRIZ JOHN ROSALES/PHILIPPINE STAR

By Janine Marie D. Soliman

THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) is in the works of putting up a cybersecurity defense structure across all its units and agencies to combat threats amid a time of heightened cyberattacks.

In a statement over the weekend, the DoF announced it will be setting up a comprehensive cybersecurity system until next year, with a platform to be drafted through an Advanced Security Operations Center (ASOC). The system is expected to be fully operational by 2021.

“A report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said that starting now and up to next year, the cybersecurity system will be set up through an Advanced Security Operations Center (ASOC) and would involve deploying communication “brokers” to connect all inline security appliances of each attached agency to this ASOC,” the agency said.

The system includes an enhanced digital infrastructure upgrade for both hardware and software of DoF agencies, namely, the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs.

“The DoF will also work closely with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to ensure the sustainability of the system,” the agency said.

The DoF’s Technology Modernization team is to be headed by Vladimir Dennis Reyes.

“Among the intervention and mitigation strategies that the team has proposed to put in place to shield the DoF from cyberattacks include performing a comprehensive cleanup of all end-point devices connected to the DoF network, establishing communications and threat analytics sharing protocols with DICT, and limiting the number of potential channels that hackers usually exploit to gain access to online networks,” the DoF said.

Online vulnerabilities and a cyber-heist last year have been among the recent developments in the financial services sector.