PLDT and Smart thwart record 16 billion attacks in 2023

Jan 25, 2024

PLDT and Smart saw cyber-attacks against them spike nearly 9,000% to 16 billion in 2023 from 182 million in 2022. The PLDT Group is also urging the government to oversee the country’s cybersecurity master plan against rising threats and attacks to secure critical assets. 

“PLDT and Smart’s robust cybersecurity culture has enabled us to fend off these attempts from breaching our network and assets. We are always on our toes, and we continue to beef up our capabilities. Our cybersecurity agents undergo regular training. We upgrade our tools. And we engage partners who can help us secure our most important asset – our customers,” said Angel T. Redoble, Chief Information Security Officer of PLDT, Smart and ePLDT. 

On a monthly basis, the PLDT Group was blocking more than a billion hits in all but three months of 2023. November and December registered the highest attacks with more than three billion assaults each. 

“Cyber-attacks surge during holidays because that’s when people are distracted by the festivities. But for us, that’s when we are at the highest alert level. We’re not only protecting the company, but the entire Filipino people who rely on our services, especially in an increasingly digital landscape,” added Redoble. 

Cyber-attacks are not limited to private companies. A few government websites also experienced major cybersecurity incidents in 2023. One attack is believed to have been state-sponsored and might have been motivated by geopolitical tensions. Redoble says the government needs to take the reins in steering the country’s cybersecurity strategy as cyber-attacks have become matters of national security. 

“We are in the middle of a cyber war. We need to secure our country’s vital infrastructures like energy, telecoms, and financial services. If we talk about cyber resiliency, stakeholders – both private entities and government units – must collaborate. And we need the government to orchestrate our efforts,” said Redoble. 

The PLDT Group continues to engage external partners to further boost its cybersecurity capabilities. Recently, the Group’s Cyber Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) has joined the global Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), giving the telco group access to valuable data and tools that will further beef up its formidable playbook against cyberthreats and attacks. 

The efforts of PLDT and Smart to fortify their digital assets are rooted in their customer-centric culture where they aim to elevate the quality of customer experience by protecting them from threats and cyber-attacks.

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