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Securing cyberspace through a whole-of-society approach

The increasing connectedness among states in the Indo-Pacific region reflects the steady expansion of the digital sector. The emergence and evolution of new technologies facilitate growth that cuts across various industries including defense and security, health, infrastructure, and trade and investment among others. 

While technology ushers in innovation, boosts competitiveness, and fosters economic growth, it also changes the landscape of challenges that states face today. Specifically, the advent of threats in cyberspace prompts the inclusion of cybersecurity at the forefront of today’s global discussions.

There is a growing trend of recognition among governments and militaries that cyberspace has become a platform for increased crime and attacks. These cyber risks increasingly threaten the national security of states and the welfare of citizens. Cyberattacks, cyber espionage, and other illicit digital activities undermine states’ respective cyber capabilities, endangering regional security and stability.

In response, states have shifted their strategic interests by venturing into cyber governance. Like-minded countries such as the United States and Australia crafted their respective cybersecurity strategies to monitor, counter, and mitigate potential threats. Cybersecurity has also been incorporated in the National Security Strategy of Japan to ensure a secure and stable cyberspace.

For the Philippines, safeguarding the new domain is an essential element of securing the nation. With the overarching goal of national cyber resilience, the current administration is taking steps to enhance the countries’ cyber competence and capabilities.

The gravity of the importance placed on cybersecurity is reflected in the National Security Policy 2023 – 2028. It identifies cyber, information, and cognitive security as a priority agenda. The government, in consultation with the private sector and other stakeholders, is also formulating an updated National Cybersecurity Plan in response to the evolving digital landscape. Additionally, a proposal to establish a Cyber Command under the Armed Forces of the Philippines is underway. 

The series of data breaches and hacking of