“For the large majority of cybercriminals, easy money is the prime motivator. And the financial sector is uniquely positioned to be a target of attacks regardless of season because it’s always where the money is. The growth of digital financial services in the Philippines, like in other parts of the region, is creating new and heightened risks for both service users and service providers. In this case, technology will be the game-changer,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia, Kaspersky. Even as the Philippines boasted of a perfect score in the Global Microscope 2020 with regulations set on e-money and basic deposit accounts, among others, the results of the recent Philippine Banking Sector Outlook Survey showed there is a need to integrate and leverage on technology in the next two years. With lockdown restrictions and increase in remote working arrangements, not all banks are prepared to handle cyber threats. The restrictions also led to the use of digital payments and electronic money platforms skyrocketing in a short amount of time. The technological capabilities and operating models built to continue banking operations despite the lockdowns were considered vital pieces in ensuring business survival, maintaining controls and compliance, and increasing performance. In a survey conducted by the country’s central bank among all local financial institutions --- universal/commercial banks and their subsidiaries, thrift banks, and rural and cooperative banks --- it revealed that a high volume of rural and cooperative banks were determined to incorporate technology in their businesses. Banks which are lagging behind in terms of digital transformation efforts also realized the need to fast track their digitization journey. In 2020, respondent banks said they are now planning to use technology in banking services at 89.2% compared to 87.4% in 2019. Although the speed of digital technology implementation is taken seriously by financial institutions, securing the platform and the users hold as much value as innovation. Last year, an American digital banking app was attacked by a hacker group called ShinyHunters that resulted in more than 7.5 million users’ personal information like names and social security numbers being posted publicly on hacking forums. With almost half of organizations having difficulties finding the difference between real threats and false positives, security teams are left “flying blind” instead of properly prioritizing actionable threats. This opens an organization to unexpected attacks. “Digital transformation always presents new challenges, especially for the financial sector. The Philippines is in the middle of a digital revolution where the use of online payment gateways and e-wallets is expected to expand. While it is a huge responsibility for banks and financial service providers to secure their virtual systems, investing in the most intelligent solutions is essential as they build their cyber defenses to better protect their customers and their businesses. From a cybersecurity standpoint, threat intelligence is an advanced, specialized framework that the financial sector will significantly benefit from,” Yeo added. In Kaspersky’s recent IT Security Economics Report, it was found that threat intelligence is considered an area of investment for 41% of enterprises and 39% of SMBs in response to a data breach. To secure ongoing efforts for digital connectivity, identification, and payments infrastructure, up-to-the-minute threat intelligence feeds play a vital role in keeping tabs on the cyberattacks that grow in both frequency and complexity. Threat intelligence can identify and analyze cyber threats targeting a business. It’s about going through piles of data to examine it, to spot real problems and deploy solutions specific to the discovered problem. But threat intelligence is not to be confused with threat data which is a list of possible threats. Threat intelligence is when IT specialists or sophisticated tools “read” threats and analyze them, and apply historical knowledge to know if a threat is real, and if it is, what to do about it.