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Philippines Braces Against Cyber Threats: Urgent Call for AI and Automation in Security

Fortinet

Fortinet, a global cybersecurity leader, shares insights from an IDC survey on Security Operations (SecOps) in Asia-Pacific. The study, sponsored by Fortinet, highlights the significance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation in the current SecOps landscape.

Key findings in the Philippines are outlined, covering security practices, attack impact, response times, alert fatigue, automation status, and skill development challenges in SecOps.

The Current State of Cybersecurity in the Philippines: Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Priorities

Current Security Challenges: Threats and Team Readiness

Prominent Threats: Phishing and ransomware dominate concerns, with over 50% of organizations ranking them highest among cyber threats. The top five threats include phishing, ransomware, unpatched vulnerabilities, identity theft, and insider threats.

Ransomware Surge: Ransomware incidents doubled in 2023, with 56% of organizations reporting a 2X increase compared to 2022. Phishing and malware are the primary attack vectors, along with social engineering, insider threats, and IoT vulnerabilities.

Insider Threats and Remote Work: 82% of respondents believe remote work increased insider threat incidents, citing insufficient training, a lack of care, and communication gaps as contributors.

Resource Challenges: Only 50% of businesses have dedicated IT resources for security teams, presenting challenges in strengthening security measures.

Impact of Emerging Technologies: Hybrid work, AI, and IT/OT system convergence pose challenges, with cloud technology adoption emerging as a primary concern affecting organizational vulnerability.

SecOps Challenges: Alert Fatigue and Threat Containment

Threat Containment and Preparedness: 48% of organizations feel underequipped for threat containment, emphasizing the need to enhance cybersecurity capabilities. Three-quarters of organizations do not conduct regular risk assessments.

Alert Fatigue: Over 50% of enterprises face an average of 221 incidents daily, leading to alert fatigue. Top alerts are suspicious emails (phishing) and malware detections. Workload constraints give SecOps professionals about 11 minutes per alert within an eight-hour workday.

False Positives and Response Time: 74% of respondents note that at least 25% of alerts are false positives. 82% take more than 15 minutes to validate an alert, highlighting the need for automation.

Skills Development: 92% find it challenging to keep team skills updated. Automation (62%) is a priority skill for SOC teams, reflecting the evolving needs in cybersecurity.

Automation in SecOps: Adoption and Future Trends

High Adoption: 94% of organizations have embraced automation tools, but there's untapped potential. Productivity gains are notable, with 92% experiencing a 25% improvement in incident detection times.

Future Plans: 100% of organizations plan to implement automation tools in the next 12 months. Focus areas include response triage, incident containment, and recovery.

Beyond Threats: SecOps Preparedness and Future Priorities

Faster Detection and Response: Organizations prioritize faster threat detection (70.7%) and increased overall threat detection capabilities (58.5%) through automation.

Holistic Automation: Over 50% focus on maximizing visibility, automated responses, threat intelligence, and optimizing operational efficiency, indicating a comprehensive approach to security operations.

Future Priorities: Top priorities in the next 12 months include network and endpoint security, staff cyber awareness, threat hunting and response, critical systems updates, and security audits. These align with the evolving threat landscape, emphasizing a strategic focus on comprehensive cybersecurity measures.
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