February 23, 2024

The city government’s data system had survived around three million hacking attempts last year, according to the Management Information Technology Division (MITD) of the City Mayor’s Office.

MITD Head Francisco Camarao during the management committee meeting on Jan. 30 said the city’s database was successfully protected by its firewall but as attacks occur daily and get more sophisticated, cybersecurity measures need to be beefed up to ensure protection of the data collated from the various transactions in the city government.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong confirmed the vulnerability of the city’s system based on the results of an assessment conducted on the city’s system by a third party.

He said failure to protect the database would mean loss of data, which if translated in financial terms, would cost millions of pesos. It would also be a big blow to the city’s efforts to painstakingly build its database meant to speed up the delivery of services.

“Securing data is a huge challenge. We have seen government offices and local government units here and abroad that have more sophisticated systems fall helplessly to these hackers. We may be next so we have to be proactive,” the mayor said.

Aside from data loss which leads to people’s privacy invasion and legal issues for the government, Camarao said cybersecurity breach also results in data exposure which causes unauthorized access to citizens’ data, identity theft, and erosion of public trust in the government.

It also leads to financial loss, operational disruptions, and legal problems.

Among the proposed solutions are the establishment of an offsite back-up system, continuous training and improvements in cybersecurity and approval and implementation of the proposed P40-million disaster recovery system said “to enhance system resilience, minimize vulnerabilities, strengthen overall operational efficiency, and boost performance.” – Aileen P. Refuerzo