Bluedog Security Monitoring, a UK cybersecurity firm, plans to open a second center in Makati City and create at least 20 new jobs in the year ahead to meet growing demand. The company employs more than 30 staff at its operations center, also in Makati. 

It also signed a new distribution agreement with IT Security Distribution Inc (ITDSI), a local cybersecurity solutions firm, to expand its customer base. ITSDI has offices in Manila and Cebu City and supplies products and services from over 20 vendors throughout the country. 

Phishing e-mails, attempted log-ins, and office network breach attempts are the most common cybersecurity problems for businesses worldwide, said Paul Lomax, co-founder of Bluedog.  “Cybersecurity is a growing problem for businesses in the Philippines, particularly those in financial services,” he said in a press statement. “We are aware that there are numerous small banks struggling with compliance, and hundreds of outsourcing firms which need to reassure overseas customers that they can meet international standards.” 

Working from home, he added, poses a challenge as it makes it hard for companies to monitor employees’ devices. “Criminals are aware of this and are taking advantage of the situation,” he said. “An additional problem in the Philippines is employees downloading pirated software and films that contain trojans or viruses which then go on to infect the company’s system.”

Since the lockdown, there has been an increase in the number of people using Bluedog’s Microsoft 365 monitoring service—backed by a 24/7 live team—which allows the same level of data protection for both remote users and those working within the office network. 

“The number of accounts we monitor is growing by around 20% per month. The [Microsoft 365 monitoring] service—which can be activated remotely—effectively brings remote devices into the company’s network, allowing companies to detect risks ranging from suspicious account log-ins to phishing emails arriving in an employee’s inbox,” Mr. Lomax said. 

Apart from Microsoft 365 monitoring, Bluedog also offers managed detection and response (a 24-hour cybersecurity monitoring service), Azure monitoring, virtual CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) service, Microsoft 365 endpoint detection and response, and vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT). 

According to the cyber firm, its location in Manila allows it to be more competitive than its rivals in the US and Europe, and makes its professional cybersecurity services accessible to a wider audience. “At just a few dollars per month per user and no minimum number of users, our Microsoft 365 monitoring service is affordable by almost any small firm,” Mr. Lomax said. “The managed detection and response service is aimed at small local banks and medium-sized businesses, as are our other services, but again are far more affordable than those offered by overseas competitors.”

Bluedog is also expanding its training academy and taking on more graduates with information technology (IT)-related degrees to train in cybersecurity. More than 20 analysts are part of its ongoing training program. — Patricia B. Mirasol