Ethical hackers fight cyber threats, establish PH cyber defense roadmap

Staff ni Anjie
With cybercrime being one of the most pressing issues facing businesses today, hiring white hat or ethical hackers is one of the most effective yet little-known strategies to counteract it. The Philippines' longest-running and most prominent hacking conference, ROOTCON15, recently sponsored a webinar in which professionals in the industry and private-sector knowledge partners discussed several concerns linked to cybersecurity for the Philippines as seen through the perspective of white hat hackers.

Ethical hackers fight cyber threats, establish PH cyber defense roadmap

Organizers and members of ROOTCON Philippines, the longest-running hacking conference in the country, and private sector representatives discussed the latest trends and the role of white hat hackers in shaping cyber security and its future in a press conference last October 7. In the photo from top left to right, are Devnull, ROOTCON FVP, and moderator; Shipcode, ROOTCON admin and Practice Principal for a confidential company; Amor Maclang, Convenor of Digital Pilipinas and Co-founder of Geiser Maclang Marketing Communications, Inc.; Eman0n, HR Manager at ROOTCON; Aj Dumanhug, Chief Information Security Officer at Secuna; Mark Frogoso, Chief Information Security Officer of Mynt (Globe Fintech Innovations)/GCASH; Jallain Manrique, Partner, Lighthouse Lead, Head of Tech Consulting at KPMG Philippines; 0xMON, ROOTCON Goon and financial security consultant; and Dax "Semprix" Labrador, Founder of ROOTCON, and Director of Professional Services at Viking Cloud.

ROOTCON's top executives worked with Digital Pilipinas and World Fintech Festival-Philippines 2021 convenor GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc. (GMCI), Globe Telecom, and KPMG Philippines to put on the event.

DevNull, a goon at Rootcon, said during the argument that the outbreak has "placed cybersecurity specialists, IT professionals, and white hat hackers at the forefront of addressing digital risks to avoid business outages."

"The need to build the country's cyber posture is becoming more important," Amor Maclang, Digital Pilipinas Convenor, and GMCI Co-founder explained, "as the Philippines becomes a more prominent player in FinTech in the ASEAN region." In collaboration with the government and private sector, cybersecurity experts will play an increasingly important role in bringing the Philippines to its rightful place as a digital leader. That is why Digital Pilipinas has given platforms like ROOTCON permission to address these new problems and trends."

While white hat hackers have been used to help various private and government entities build a secure cyber posture, "according to one study, there is a huge gap in the number of people who are skilled in handling cyber organizations like ROOTCON and some companies are a good platform to train the next generation of white hat hackers," said Aj Dumanhug, Secuna's Chief Information Security Officer.

Secuna is the Philippines' largest Cybersecurity Testing Platform, connecting startups and SMEs with highly-vetted international cybersecurity experts who detect and fix security gaps in their IT systems that hostile hackers can exploit in the real world. It's a Digital Pilipinas enabler that helps government and private sector organizations protect their digital assets.

Mark Frogoso, Chief Information Security Officer of Mynt (Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc.)/GCASH, underlined the necessity of looking at the larger picture while dealing with digital security risks and measuring cybersecurity efficiency. "Not only do we need to prepare the IT infrastructure, but we also need to train our employees on how to utilize it and instill a cyber security culture in them," he added.

"We need rules and complete information on how to treat hackers whose talents may be used in the fight against cybercrime," said ROOTCON Founder Dax "Semprix" Labrador, who added that ethical hackers should be encouraged to contribute to and fight to expand digital dangers.

Eman0n, a goon at Rootcon and a former consultant for Comcast and Globe Telecom, claims that e-commerce websites and apps like Lazada and Shopee have consulted ethical hackers to find vulnerabilities, prospective exploit areas, and mitigation strategies. "By supporting hacking workshops and hacker groups, we have helped to strengthen the security posture of several organizations," Eman0n continued. This project would not have been possible without the assistance of ROOTCON."

On the importance of establishing a cybersecurity culture across all types of organizations, from the government to the private sector, Jallain Manrique, Partner of Lighthouse Lead and Head of Tech Consulting at KPMG Philippines, said that there is a need to create a culture "where everyone is conscious about cybersecurity, and to be able to identify the weakest link in the chain...(that) the tech part is just a component, but the processes, legislation, and people are equally important..."

During the virtual conference, ROOTCON goons OxM0N and Shipcode were also present.

The ROOTCON 15 press conference is one of the DIGITAL PILIPINAS - WORLD FINTECH FESTIVAL PHILIPPINES supported programs, which is a pioneering movement driven by policy and legislative advocacy, meaningful business connections, regulatory advocacy, mass adoption of emerging technologies, and ecosystem building. The partnership will take the form of a series of co-created projects between Digital Pilipinas and the ROOTCON community, bringing together a whole-of-nation and whole-of-society approach to promoting and enhancing cybersecurity and cyber defense.

From October 12 to 15, 2021, the 15th edition of ROOTCON, the Philippines' largest hacking conference and information security gathering, will bring together experts and pioneers in cybersecurity in a hybrid interactive 4-day conference.

For additional information, visit ROOTCON's official website at, as well as their Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube pages.

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