Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday emphasized the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures in response to the growing digital threats faced by a number of government agencies.
In a media interview, Cayetano, who chairs the Senate Science and Technology Committee, raised the alarm on “digital highway robbery” to emphasize the vulnerability of accessing data on the internet.
“Ang digital highway ang ating problema. Maraming may akala na noong pinasa natin ang SIM card registration, mababawasan na nang husto ang mga nanloloko. Pero as you have seen, the digital way of extorting money, scams, and schemes is only one way,” he said.
Discussing the perils of hacking and its potential consequences, Cayetano said: “Napakadelikado ng hacking for many reasons. One, it can destroy certain institutions and systems that we believe in.”
He highlighted the recent hacking incident in Philhealth in which hackers threatened to disclose private and sensitive information to the public.
“Pinaka-concern ako sa Philihealth kasi masyadong sensitive ang data ng treatment mo at ano ang sakit mo. The more important the data in terms of sensitivity, dapat mas pinoprotektahan,” he said.
Cayetano highlighted the irony of the current situation, pointing out that one of the controversial issues revolves around the transparency of government confidential funds, while, at the same time, people’s private data is no longer kept confidential.
“Napakalaking irony that the biggest issue now is people want to know [kung] saan ginagamit ang confidential funds. On the other hand, things that need to be confidential, like your health records, are now being hacked and exposed to the public,” he said.
Concluding the interview, Cayetano emphasized the need for stronger cybersecurity measures, saying action must be taken as soon as possible.
“If we don’t solve it, magkakaroon ng mas sinister [na mangyayari] because information is power,” he said.