PHILIPPINES – DECODE 2021, the country’s largest cybersecurity conference hosted free of charge by Trend Micro Philippines, welcomed over 1,200 Filipinos on its first day.
“At Trend Micro, we’re engineered to do good and committed to our mission of helping create a safer online environment for all, especially as the pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of most organizations and businesses.
DECODE is perhaps one of our biggest undertakings: a gathering of experts from here and all over the world to tackle the most pressing cybersecurity issues, address and anticipate threats, and explore how we can all work together to ensure that organizations and individuals remain safe and secure online,” said Alma Saturnino-Alvarez, Director of Threat Hunting, Trend Micro Philippines.
The three-day virtual conference opened with four keynote sessions delivered by Trend Micro’s Director of Global Operations, Managed XDR Jay Yaneza, FBI Cyber Division Intelligence Analyst Lauren Seawright, Cybercrime Directorate of INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) INTERPOL’s Head of Cybercrime Intelligence Unit Shane Cross, and Meralco’s VP and Group Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Mel T. Migriño.
Following this year’s theme DEC1DE. DEC0DE., the speakers discussed timely topics relevant in their respective roles in the cybersecurity industry.
1. Now, Else Be Too Late: Relevant Just-in-Time Decisions
In his session, Trend Micro’s Director of Global Operations, Managed XDR Jay Yaneza introduced the primary theme of the conference; making critical, yet timely decisions in order to prevent or resolve threats. Beyond the technicalities behind resolving a threat is a team’s ability to make quick, yet informed decisions during the most extreme situations. Yaneza shared examples of instances when timing and execution were critical, and also discussed the value of prevention and foresight. He closed his session with a reminder to ”keep calm and carry on” and goes on to emphasize how “IT staff should make sure they are measuring the right things because these decision points will come to bare after the incident.”
2. Ransomware: 2021 Threat Landscape
To present another facet of the cybersecurity industry, FBI Intelligence Assistant Legal Attaché Lauren Seawright went over the current threat landscape and how it has evolved both in the Philippines and globally in the past few years. Drawing as well from her experience as the Intelligence Analyst assigned to the cyber squad in FBI’s Anchorage and Boston Divisions, the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Portland, Maine, and the economic crimes squad, Seawright gave valuable insights on current and foreseeable trends in how Philippine companies are combatting these attacks.
3. Cybercrime Through the Lens of Law Enforcement and Private Partners
From another expert involved in law enforcement, Shane Cross gives viewers a brief background on the work of INTERPOL and how the cybercrime division operates in partnership with international governments. Cross also discusses how cybercrimes during the time of COVID-19 have evolved and other evolving threats in the current landscape. Scams have been tailored around themes of COVID-19 and healthcare, as well as cybercrimes executed around cryptocurrency. Cross emphasizes that it is most important that we cooperate with local enforcement, to effectively and efficiently shut down such threats.
4. The Evolution of a CISO Role
VP and Group Chief Information Security Officer of Meralco Mel Migriño during her session discussed the role of the CISO, or Chief Information Security Officer. Migriño discussed how the role has evolved from the traditional responsibilities of the CISO, as well as how the CISO is involved and engaged across the various departments of an organization. She also talked about the “Next Generation CISO” and the qualities they must possess, such as having a moral compass, and being ready to go beyond what is asked.
5. Get IT Girl, Careers in Cybersecurity, and Cybersecurity Fundamentals
Trend Micro decided to extend this year’s conference and include programs catering specifically to women in the tech industry as well as students.
Get IT Girl, Trend Micro’s yearly discussion on empowering Filipino women in tech, covers the state of the cybersecurity skills gap and how it has improved through diversity and inclusion, led by Joahnna Hipolito, Trend Micro Manager for Technology Marketing. This is followed by an inspirational talk and Q&A session with our Olympic Silver Medalist Nesthy Petecio on how she stands out in a male-dominated sport.
Trender trainers have sessions about Careers in Cybersecurity, and Cybersecurity Fundamentals, made available for both student audiences and career shifters.
DECODE is a free conference hosted by Trend Micro Philippines annually. In its 5th year, not even a pandemic could hinder Trend Micro from pulling out all the stops. Complete with a virtual lounge and auditorium for the array of panel discussions and keynote sessions lined up, this year’s conference is sure to inspire and engage many in the local cybersecurity industry. When it comes to looking out for trends and potential threats, Shane Cross shared that “It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when,” and DECODE 2021 serves as a necessary reminder of this for all in the industry.
All IT professionals who want to learn more about cybersecurity and the latest trends can still access the DECODE sessions by registering for an account at https://decodeph.com. The videos will be available on-demand until July 22, 2022.