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Cybersecurity training and advancement in the Philippines has gotten a much-needed boost. 

An unprecedented alliance has been forged between the Philippine Institute of Cyber Security Professionals (PICSPro) and five world-leading cybersecurity companies to strengthen training efforts while elevating awareness of cybersecurity in the Philippines. 

PICSPro sealed partnerships with F5 Networks Fortinet, Gigamon, Palo Alto Networks, and RSA Philippines, through a virtual contract signing last week for training and capacity building efforts to enhance local cybersecurity skills. 

Top officials from these leading cybersecurity firms were present during the virtual contract signing. They include Gabriel Payawal, Country Manager of F5 Networks, Louie CastaƱeda, Country Manager of Fortinet, Jennifer Tan, Country Lead and Regional Sales Director of Gigamon, Oscar Visaya, Country Manager of Palo Alto Networks, and Rajnish Gupta, Director of Sales, Asia Pacific and Japan of RSA. PICSPro chairman Angel Redoble and national president Ashley Acedillo were present to represent the organization. 

Redoble hailed the organization’s first-ever corporate partnerships in pursuing skills enhancement in the Philippine cybersecurity sector. 

“On behalf of PICSPro and the board of directors and members all over the country, I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for this used to be difficult, but now doable advocacy with these partnerships,” Redoble said during the virtual contract signing. 

“More than it being in our line of work, this partnership is heavily aligned with what we do at Palo Alto Networks Philippines,” Country Manager Oscar Visaya shared. “We are committed to creating a safer digital space for the country. Our goal is to promote a culture of knowledge sharing in cybersecurity awareness and eventually escalate discussions to institutionalize cybersecurity education,” Visaya added. 

Redoble then assured the PICSPro partners that their efforts will yield positive results, saying: “We cannot fight this threat alone. Everyone in the (cybersecurity) community needs to help us in this fight. One major factor in winning the war against continuing cyber threats is educating the community. Educating the community with the help of these five big cybersecurity firms will not only fast track our success but will also strengthen the spirit of camaraderie in the cybersecurity space.” 

“Our partnership will not go to waste. You will see the product of this partnership and the fruit of your contribution,” Redoble added. 

Apart from supporting PICSPro’s training initiatives for members and aspiring professionals, these five “pillars” in the cybersecurity industry will also help in pushing for relevant and useful cybersecurity curricula in the academe, apart from provisioning awareness programs and developing state-of-the-art learning modules to better prepare information security teams against cyber threats and instill cybersecurity in people’s lives. 

RSA’s Director of Sales for Asia Pacific and Japan Rajnish Gupta also expressed their solidarity for the cause, saying that “PICSPro advocacy is a great initiative as these not only brings into light the accelerated growth of cybersecurity attacks in the Philippines, but will also aid in bridging the growing skills gap to combat such malicious entities.” Gupta then added saying that this will not only help the Philippines but the even amongst ASEAN neighbors, as collaboration can help expedite addressing these gaps. 

Fortinet’s Louie Castaneda, Country Manager for the Philippines, expressed his belief in the cause also. “Fortinet is committed to bringing a sustainable digital economy in the Philippines, one that is secure and of long-term value. PICSPro’s vision to bring cybersecurity awareness and education is aligned with our company’s values which is bringing this to our younger Filipinos and aspiring practitioners by partnering with the academic sector,” Castaneda shared. 

Among these initiatives is the “Kwentong Cybersecurity” webinars, scheduled every two weeks, to tackle relevant topics on cybersecurity, with each topic spearheaded by a PICSPro cybersecurity business partner. 

Country Lead and Director of Sales for Gigamon Jennifer Tan also saw this as an opportunity to pay it forward as the country endures difficult times. “Security gaps and blind spots are part of what we solve on an enterprise level. Together with Gigamon, we are most proud to be part of such a noble advocacy and very much looking forward to raising the bar on awareness of prevalent security threats, one Filipino at a time,” Tan shared. 

Upcoming virtual discussions on PICSPro digital platforms include: 

  • Relationship of digital identity and its role in cybercrime – F5 Networks 
  • Zero Trust – Palo Alto Networks 
  • Consumer Fraud Prevention and Awareness – RSA Philippines 
  • Application of AI in Malware Detection and Prevention – Fortinet 
  • Pervasive Visibility and Security – Gigamon Philippines 
PICSPro, an organization of Filipino cybersecurity professionals from various industries, was established to institute the best cybersecurity possible through reinforcing public awareness, for the common mind to have a better understanding of cybersecurity, and building cybersecurity professionals with the use of an educational framework that provides adequate training and certification. 

“This partnership will help elevate the cybersecurity awareness for our fellow countrymen, as observing the correct practices in the digital space should be a part of everyone’s lifestyle. F5 Networks Philippines is ecstatic to part of a resilient and forward-looking group that is PICSPro, and we are one with their vision in bringing a secure cyber space for the Philippines,” F5 Networks Philippines Country Manager Gabriel Payawal said. 

PICSPro’s framework of engagement consists of five pillars – for goals to include: 

1. Strategies for development of a model cybercrime legislation that is interoperable and applicable globally 

2. Strategies for the development of a global framework for security protocols, standards and software accreditation schemes 

3. Global strategies for the creation of organizational structures and policies on cybercrime, watch, warning and incident response, generic and universal digital identity system 

4. Global strategies to facilitate human and institutional capacity building in 1, 2 and 3 

5. Proposals for a framework for international dialogue, cooperation and coordination 

PICSPro has regional chapters in key areas of the Philippines such as Metro Manila, Laguna, Bulacan, and Cavite.