Philippines to set up cybersecurity operations center

Armed Forces of the Philippines to set up center to protect highly sensitive data from cyberattacks, and keep the defense group updated with changing cybersecurity trends.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be establishing an operations center to counter cybersecurity threats.

According to Manila Standard Today news site on Monday, the military's project is dubbed the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (C4ISTAR), military spokesperson Arnulfo Burgos said in a statement.

It is "envisioned by the Department of National Defense and the AFP for a comprehensive upgrading and acquisition of modern equipment and solutions, under the AFP modernization program for efficient and effective conduct of operations," he said.

While the types of operations the military plan to conduct were not specified, Wilson Galedo from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for communications, electronics and information systems, had said the C41STAR was focused on protecting highly-secured data from cyberattacks.

This project will help keep the armed forces up to date with current cybersecurity trends, Galedo said, adding they will also monitor the "changing threat landscape and its implications for defense, security management and building cybersecurity core personnel".

Because the AFP handles internal security operations, territorial defense and disaster response, it has to be prepared and ready as cybersecurity increasingly comes under the spotlight, Jessie Dellosa, chief of AFP said in the statement. "To do this, we have to streamline and secure our communications systems in order to efficiently and effectively perform our mandate in protecting our people," he said. 

Several government Web sites were attacked earlier this year by hacker groups protesting against Philippines' Cybercrime Prevention Act , which has since been put on hold following a 120-day restraining order against the anti-cybercrime law in October by the Supreme Court.