DND undertakes stricter operational security, more responsive cybersecurity paradigm

January 16, 2024

Makati City (January 16, 2024) — Secretary of National Defense (SND) Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. disclosed that the Department of National Defense (DND) is undertaking a transition to stricter operational security as well as exploring ways to enhance cybersecurity infrastructure and processes during a conference at the Manila Polo Club on Tuesday.

The Defense Secretary pointed out that while government process models advance openness, transparency, and competitiveness, especially in acquisitions, this could be “anathema to actual realities of cybersecurity, even in cooperation.”

“Naturally, cooperation in cybersecurity entails a critical political analysis of your foreign partners, like-minded nations, treaty partners. Your friend today could be an adversary tomorrow in different aspects,” Secretary Teodoro said.

Noting vulnerabilities in cyberspace, he added that the DND is transitioning into stricter operational security, which “starts from individual security, facility security, to digital hygiene, to the architecture that we’re going to put into our systems.”

“So we have to start from base zero. We have had a gap analysis, and there’s a lot to do. We have to put in the right infrastructure, architecture, hardware, software, protocols, and hygiene.,” the defense chief said.

“Secondly, contrary to government rules of just-in-time, inventory, etc., we will be building in redundancy, taking into account vendor reliability or servicing reliability,” he added.

Secretary Teodoro further said that national security is paramount, and there is a need to create the government standards for accountability and prevention rules and regulations to avoid abuse.

He also encouraged the academe to spur further research and development, in consonance with the President’s instructions, to utilize the vast potentials of the country for the provision of revenue, security, and employment to all Filipinos.

The two-day conference entitled “Fortifying Cyber Cooperation Towards Digital Security,” was organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute in partnership with the Embassy of Canada. The event gathers stakeholders in cybersecurity in the Philippines and the international community to discuss issues and explore solutions to digital security risks.

“We know that the Philippines now, as Ambassador (David) Hartman said, is patient zero for vulnerability. This gives us room for working and cooperating with like-minded partners, creating the proper frameworks and operational and institutional arrangements for long-term cooperation, with the Philippines’ interests in mind, and respecting those of like-minded nations,” Secretary Teodoro concluded.

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