(L to R) Bangko Sentral Governor ng Pilipinas Benjamin Diokno, Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss and Economic Advisor and Chief of Mission Tomer Heyvi

The Embassy of Israel in Manila and the Israel Economic and Trade Mission to the Philippines, in cooperation with the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), organized a cybersecurity-focused virtual event titled “Optimizing Cyber ​​Protection for the Industry finance: best practices from Israel.”

The program was divided into two parts: presenting the unique model of financial institution protection in Israel and presenting leading Israeli companies offering innovative cybersecurity technologies and solutions for the financial sector.

Tomer Heyvi, economic adviser and head of mission, said the aim of the event is to share Israeli expertise and technologies in the field of cybersecurity in light of the growing challenges and threats facing financial institutions around the world. whole, including the Philippines, are facing these days. .

In his opening remarks, Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Ilan Fluss, said: “My vision for the future of relations between Israel and the Philippines is to see the growth of cooperation in innovation and technologies, particularly in these critical and sensitive areas. Israel has proven itself as a reliable and strong partner of the Philippines, so I think we should see more cybersecurity partnerships.

“During the first session of the program, Governor Benjamin Diokno of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas shared his insights on the Philippines cybersecurity ecosystem and financial sector challenges. In his speech, Diokno mentioned some key areas of collaboration such that the threat intelligence platform and the establishment of a national CERT, given industry-wide initiatives in the Philippines and Israel’s maturity and sophistication in terms of controls and cybersecurity management.

“I hope this session will strengthen ties and cooperation between Israel and the Philippines so that our respective financial services sectors remain safe, innovative and resilient in the digital economy,” he added.

Additionally, Jose Arnulfo Veloso, President of the BAP, emphasized in his remarks that cybersecurity remains a top priority for the association. He shared a number of BAP’s pleas to promote and intensify its cybersecurity framework in the banking and financial services sector of the Philippines.

“With the partnership of the guests of this forum, we can take them [cyberthreats] head on,” Veloso noted. On the other hand, Doron Liberman, Director of International Cooperation Development at Israel’s National Cybersecurity Directorate (INCD), shared in his remarks Israel’s national approach and strategy to the cybersecurity ecosystem in its together in the civilian sector. sphere.

“The INCD examines its constituencies at different levels: critical infrastructure, sector and general public,” he said. Liberman further shared that the INCD is a national agency that provides tools and methodologies for intelligence and active defense at the national level, as well as outreach events when their assistance is needed. Rahav Shalom-Revivo, Head of Financial Cyber ​​Innovation and International Engagements at Israel’s Ministry of Finance, shared the multinational financial cyber simulation the ministry ran with countries with which Israel has cyber financial relations. In this simulation, she emphasized that international collaboration is essential and that there must be synchronization between finance and cybersecurity decision makers.

She added: “The collaborative understanding that only together can we overcome such dramatic attacks that at some point will occur in the future.”

A case study highlighting the power of collaboration was shared by Eden Cohen, head of security in the Security Operations Center at Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest commercial bank.

In her presentation, she shared that over the past three years, there has been a significant increase in organized cybercrimes against financial organizations through new and advanced tactics to penetrate the digital world.

With that, she emphasized that the best way to deal with next-gen attackers is through collaboration as a necessity to protect ourselves and our customers. She added that collaboration between people, business, technology, intelligence and law enforcement is a key factor in being able to deal with cyberattacks quickly and thoroughly.

The discussion was followed by a pitching session from four companies offering cybersecurity technologies: Semperis: “Protecting your Active Directory, the keys to your Kingdom”; Trustpeers: “Turn chaos into a controlled event with TrustPeers Cyber ​​Crisis Management SaaS platform”; Cybowall: “AI-powered cybersecurity”; and CYE: “Continuous Cyber ​​Risk Visibility – Cyber ​​Risk Quantification – Cyber ​​Exposure Optimization”.

Benjamin Castillo, CEO of BAP, shared in his closing remarks that the power of collaboration is very important in cybersecurity. He mentioned continued discussions with the INCD and the Israeli Ministry of Finance as the BAP continues to explore its options in establishing a national CERT.

Israel is one of the leaders in cybersecurity expertise in the world, with around 40% of global cybersecurity investment. Israel’s cybersecurity industry continued to grow in 2021 with a record $8.8 billion in investment in 131 funding rounds – that figure tripled from 2020 to $2.9 billion. Additionally, 33% of the world’s cybersecurity unicorns are Israeli.