CYBERSECURITY is increasingly being viewed by C-level executives as a means of ensuring business continuity during the pandemic, after the initial rush to ensure that systems were robust enough to accommodate work-from-home (WFH) arrangements, Unisys Corp. said.

“While there is a need to quickly adapt to a work-from-home strategy, there is this need to actually make sure that the operations are running as well,” Unisys Asia Director of Security Business Development Daphne Chee said in an online interview Wednesday.

Unisys has been seeing increased interest from banks and critical infrastructure companies, she said.

But while Philippine organizations have demonstrated increased interest in cybersecurity, the attention has not always translated to the adoption of cybersecurity solutions.

“There’s a lot of diversion of funds and attention to the mitigation and management of this crisis and therefore that momentum had to slow down a little. But the attention is still there,” Ms. Chee said.

Cybersecurity in developing countries like the Philippines is not as high a priority as in other countries, Unisys Asia Pacific Director of Security Services Ashwin Pal said.

Such issues can be addressed with well-tested business continuity plans that cover even unlikely events, an informed workforce, and cybersecurity technology.

“Corporates need to understand that the threat landscape has changed. What’s actually happening now is you’ve got two forces in play that are actually not in our favor,” he said.

As more employees work from home, network security becomes less secure and more hackers are trying to take advantage of at-risk organizations through phishing e-mails.

Organizational vulnerabilities come from both the personal devices of employees and their behavior as they work from home.

With office laptops in short supply, employees could end up using personal devices, including smart phones.

“You’ve got all these smart devices and god knows what they’re doing and they’re now connected to that same network as well which is now connecting back to your corporate network. All of those risks are flying back to the corporate network,” he said.

Mr. Pal said when work-from-home operations were organized, “Frankly, security went by the wayside.” He added that organizations are now starting to secure data and educate employees as they plan for longer-term home-based work. — Jenina P. Ibañez