The Philippines, considered a major player in the IT-BPO industry, is severely lacking in protecting its digital infrastructure due to a shortage of cybersecurity professionals.
A study conducted by IBM and backed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has revealed that as of 2021 the country only has 202 professionals who are designated as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, a sought-after certification in cybersecurity. For comparison, Singapore has 2,804 professionals with CISSP certifications.
Jon Avila, a senior economic growth specialist at USAID said that the “needs [in the Philippines] are very big,” citing the workforce shortage as the problem being faced by the government. He also noted the issue of retaining cybersecurity professionals in the country, as they tend to be poached by the private sector or enticed by job offers from companies abroad as soon as they receive sufficient training.
Avila further explained that the government currently lacks the necessary structure to accommodate cybersecurity professionals. For starters, he said that there is no dedicated position for a cybersecurity professional within the government’s workforce as well as no job description or salary level befitting the expertise and qualifications of such a professional.
One suggestion that Avila brought forward is the utilization of the BPO sector. While the sector mainly addresses customer complaints and consumer-related services, he said that the sector can be diversified to handle other services as such as cybersecurity, in which auditing and other tasks can be performed remotely.
Earlier this month, NordVPN released the results of its cybersecurity literacy assessment called National Privacy Test, with the Philippines ranking 27th based on data gathered since November 2020. Singapore made it into the top ten.
Via: ABS-CBN News