CYBERSECURITY | Adaptive strategy keeps PLDT, Smart customers safe against cyberthreats

As threats have evolved, PLDT and Smart have relentlessly implemented new processes and expanded tools in keeping customers safe, especially against the recent spate of ‘smishing’ activities.

Source: PLDT

The Cyber Security Operations Group (CSOG) of PLDT and its wireless mobile unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) highlighted the importance of an evolving strategy in protecting customers against cyberattacks.

Speaking at the recent PhilSec 2022 Hybrid Summit on ‘Building a Cyber-resilient Philippines’, Angel Redoble, first vice president and chief information security officer of the PLDT Group, said that since the last quarter of 2018, the PLDT Group’s CSOG has adopted the ‘Balanced Scorecard’ approach to handling cybersecurity situations.

“The ‘Balanced Scorecard’ dictates whether it is imperative to improve a strategy, to change a strategy or to add another strategy. Strategy in cybersecurity is a moving target. Your strategy will depend on how your environment adapts to new technology,” Redoble said.

As threats have evolved, PLDT and Smart have relentlessly implemented new processes and expanded tools in keeping customers safe, especially against the recent spate of ‘smishing’ activities. The group also continues to engage different stakeholders to dive deeper into the modus and to update existing game plans against malicious text messages.

“In cybersecurity, users are often considered the weakest link. But at PLDT and Smart, they are our force multipliers. Every time there is a suspected phishing, they report to us. Every time they don’t understand something, they think about cybersecurity. Pursuing a culture of cybersecurity is something that should be a priority,” Redoble said.

In June, PLDT and Smart have blocked more than 100 URLs and domains linked to text scams, bringing the total links blocked to 650 in the first half of the year.

‘Smishing’ or SMS phishing is a form of social engineering done through text messages that deceive customers into thinking that these messages were sent by banks, recruitment agencies, tour operators and other companies. These messages contain links to websites that lure victims into revealing their personal information.

PLDT and Smart have been fortifying their cybersecurity infrastructure, investing nearly ₱3 billion in 2021, to safeguard the public against emerging cyber threats and vulnerabilities, including online fraud and other criminal activities.

The efforts of PLDT and Smart to detect and block malicious messages, including SIMs and websites tied to fraudulent activities, are fundamental to the PLDT Group’s much broader program to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from threats and attacks.

Source: PLDT

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