Philippine businesses saw cyberattacks triple in 2023

Report outlines mainly targeted sectors

Philippine businesses saw cyberattacks triple in 2023


By Roxanne Libatique

Businesses in the Philippines experienced a substantial rise in cyberattacks last year, largely due to the increased accessibility of ransomware to cybercriminals, as reported by cybersecurity firm Fortinet.

Approximately 60% of surveyed companies in the Philippines noted a threefold increase in cyberthreats in 2023, according to Rashish Pandey, Fortinet’s vice president for marketing and communications for Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Pandey highlighted the existence of a marketplace for ransomware, which has simplified the execution of these attacks.

“Ransomware is becoming a full-blown business,” he said, as reported by Inquirer.

Sectors targeted

Fortinet identified that sectors such as manufacturing, hospitality, retail, healthcare, and telecommunications were particularly targeted by ransomware attacks. These industries are chosen due to the severe impact operational disruptions can cause, pushing victims to pay ransoms to quickly restore IT systems.

“If I shut down somebody’s manufacturing floor, that’s a real revenue loss happening every minute,” Pandey said. In the case of healthcare, lives are at stake. You have seen a spate of ransomware attacks on healthcare entities across the world because they know they’re under pressure to pay and get the system back.”

Last year, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) reported a data breach that exposed employee details.

Importance of a unified cybersecurity platform

Fortinet country manager Alan Reyes stressed the importance of adopting a unified cybersecurity platform to counter persistent digital threats.

“This integrated strategy not only reduces costs and operational complexity but also ensures that organizations can quickly adapt to new threats, thereby building robust and future-proof cybersecurity operations,” he said, as reported by Inquirer.

Cyber insurance claims in 2023

Active insurance provider Coalition recently released its 2024 Cyber Claims Report, which shed light on key cyber threats in 2023.

The report showed that over half (56%) of all cyber claims during the year stemmed from funds transfer fraud (FTF) or business email compromise (BEC). It also revealed increased vulnerabilities associated with certain network security devices, with businesses using internet-exposed Cisco ASA devices being nearly five times more likely to file a cyber claim in 2023.

Further findings showed a 13% year-over-year increase in overall claims frequency and a 10% increase in overall claims severity, resulting in an average loss of $100,000. Businesses with revenues between $25 million and $100 million were affected, witnessing a 32% rise in claims frequency.

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