Stratbase conference discusses global cybersecurity threats

NATO expert: ‘Chinese cyberattacks likely to destabilize Filipino society’

/ 12:46 PM June 25, 2024

On June 24, 2024, the Stratbase Albert Del Rosario Institute hosted a conference titled “Safeguarding the Indo-Pacific: Strengthening Partnerships to Meet Emerging Cybersecurity Threats” in Makati City.

It welcomed prominent cybersecurity experts and ambassadors to the Philippines, including US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson and Australian Ambassador Hae Kyong Yu.

READ: How the Philippines beats digital threats

The experts explained how the Philippines and its international partners uphold online security worldwide through close collaboration and constant adaptation.


More importantly, they highlighted global cybersecurity’s growing significance.

Stratbase: Global cybersecurity is now crucial to ‘conventional’ security

These are the speakers in Stratbase's global cybersecurity conference.
Image Source: Stratbase

Stratbase Albert Del Rosario Institute (ADRi) is an independent international and strategic research organization with the principal goal of addressing the issues affecting the Philippines and East Asia.

Its president, Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit, started the event with his speech regarding the significance of cybersecurity in the Philippines. 

He cited a statement from President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. after his APEC visit. “Our cooperation on cybersecurity is also a priority as it impacts both national and economic security,” Marcos said. 


“Critical infrastructure, whether it is with respect to courts, energy or telecommunications, will require cybersecurity measures,” he added.

The conference aims to bring the best minds from around the world to talk about global cybersecurity.


Manhit emphasized that the Philippines’ digitalization may become an avenue for more international threats to the economy. 

READ: Google search cache feature retires

After his speech, Secretary Ivan John Uy of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) took the stage with his pre-recorded message.

He mentioned three challenges the country faces – high amounts of cybersecurity attacks, the digital divide, and brain drain.

Uy said the DiCT has been working hard to improve the country’s response to online threats.

Moreover, it is teaching more Filipinos to use the Internet safely and it is giving incentives to local experts to stay and work in the country. 

US and Australian ambassadors discuss cybersecurity measures

These are the speakers in Stratbase's global cybersecurity conference.
Image Source: Stratbase

Carlson was the first international voice during the conference.

She reiterated the importance of international collaboration in upholding global cybersecurity.

The ambassador cited US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement regarding the United States’ plan to “forge an international community of allies, partners and stakeholders for this goal.”

Blinken mentioned the basic principle of “digital solidarity.”

It emphasizes that our policies and actions should provide “mutual assistance to victims of malicious cyber activity and other digital harms.” 

Carlson also said the US will host the inaugural US-Philippines Cyber and Digital Dialogue to elevate technology cooperation.

As a result, the Philippines will become the second ASEAN nation to have a US stand-alone mechanism for cyber issues.

Later, Australian Ambassador Yu took the stage to explain that global cybersecurity is an ongoing threat.

READ: The Philippines is ramping up cybersecurity

She also explained the “six cyber shields” that protect The Land Down Under from these attacks, which may apply to the Philippines and its partners:

  1. Strong businesses and citizens 
  2. Safe technology
  3. World-class threat sharing and locking
  4. Protected critical infrastructure and government services
  5. Sovereign capabilities in cybersecurity and industry
  6. Cyber resiliency of a region that prospers from digital economy

The final shield is under the protection of the sixth shield.

The envoy says Australia has been providing workshops and scholarships to improve its global cybersecurity. 

Retired General John Allen: World more volatile than after The Cold War

These are the speakers in Stratbase's global cybersecurity conference.
Image Source: Stratbase

Former Commander of the U.S. Marine Corps and NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan John Allen shared his statements after the ambassadors’ speeches.

“I have not seen the world more volatile and potentially combustible during the end of the Cold War,” he remarked.

The retired general warns China and Russia are consolidating power and may become “very aggressive, very dangerous autocracies.” 

“Cyberspace is vital to every aspect of our countries’ existence. While we live in the physical domain, our relevance exists in the cyber domain,” the former military official stressed. 

Allen notes that US and Philippine collaboration is important, and they must not neglect the private sector. 

He also cited the Ukraine war as the “prototype war of the 21st century.”

“Russia waged pre-war digital attacks, which set the stage for its conventional attacks,” he said.

“The same could happen to other countries like the Philippines. Chinese cyberattacks are likely to destabilize Filipino society to set the stage for long-term conflict,” he pointed out.

The retired general shared a serious warning before his speech ended: 

“We can’t start too soon. This struggle is not theoretical; going to war is not theoretical. I do not want to go to war again.”

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“One of the ways to avoid going to war is to be strong in cyberspace. To develop the capacity to defend ourselves, to build deterrent strength to show how powerful we can be as united nations.”

TOPICS: Cybersecurity, technology
TAGS: Cybersecurity, technology

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