by Miguel R. Camus, Inquirer
Filipinos worried far more than other countries when going by the 2017 Unisys Security Index, the latest iteration of the decade-old survey that included the Philippines for the first time.
The Philippines topped the list of 13 countries in the index, whose results were launched yesterday.
Filipinos worried most about natural disasters and identity theft, among the list of security concerns that also included paying debts, personal safety and online shopping.
The index showed that 93 percent of Filipinos expressed concerns on these twin issues.
John Kendall, Unisys director of border and national security programs, said this underscored “the very real threat that their personal details may be stolen and sold on the dark web—highlighted by last year’s breach of the Philippine voter registry database.”
He was referring to the hacking of the Commission on Elections website, an event that compromised the personal data of millions of voters ahead of the national polls on May 9, 2016.
“Organizations that collect and use Philippine consumer data need to show that they employ robust cyber resiliency frameworks to safeguard the data in their care, from both malicious and accidental data breach threats,” he said.
The Philippines was also the only country that ranked natural disasters among its top two concerns, likely due to its vulnerability to natural calamities like earthquakes and powerful storms, Unisys said.
“Digital technology can help address this via ‘smart cities’ strategies featuring interconnected and intelligent infrastructure to automatically detect, predict and manage responses to better protect citizens and minimize impacts,” Kendall said.
Another major area of concern among Filipino consumers was bank card fraud (89 percent of respondents) and computer viruses/ hacking threats (88 percent).
Reflected as a score, the Philippines had 243 points in the index, or 40 percent above the global average of 173 points.
The survey was conducted online on April 6-18, 2017, and involved at least 1,000 individuals per country.
The Philippines was followed by Mexico (216 points), Malaysia (215 points), Brazil (189 points), Argentina (177 points), United States (169 points), Colombia (169 points), Australia (157 points), New Zealand (154 points), Belgium (152 points), United Kingdom (144 points), Germany (136 points) and Netherlands (125 points).
It noted that the biggest increases in 2017 came from “mature” markets like Australia, Netherlands, US and Great Britain.
“This suggests that even developed countries are starting to feel vulnerable—especially as we move to an increasingly interconnected global digital economy,” Kendall said.
“Organizations have to assume that they will eventually be breached and take immediate steps to minimize and contain the impact on themselves and their customers in order to gain and maintain that trust,” he added.