In the face of constantly evolving threats to information security and personal, sensitive data of customers everywhere, the best defense the banking industry has against cyberattacks are collaboration and cooperation with competitors, says EastWest Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Joey Regala.
The innovations in cybersecurity and data protection that only collaboration among different banks could bring about was the key message Regala, the president and one of the founding members of the Information Security Officers Group (ISOG), had to share at a local gathering of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) last August 7.
“The ISOG members learned ‘coompetition’ (cooperation and competition). We cooperate to compete with the enemies, which are the hackers,” said Regala. This collaboration led Regala and a number of other CISOs to found the ISOG, allowing them to strengthen the industry’s information security as a whole through awareness and education programs and be more proactive against cyber threats.
The group’s work together has resulted in the adoption of important cybersecurity advances within EastWest, such as constant information security awareness training for employees, and the use of a cyber threat intelligence service that third parties provide. These services draw from different online sources, such as social media, human intelligence, and the deep/dark web to proactively identify and defend the bank and its customers from both internal and external attacks.
Despite the ISOG’s efforts in defending the banking industry from attackers and fraudsters, Regala also emphasizes the important role the public has in helping protect their own data and assets against online threats.
“Awareness in the various modus operandi of stealing customer information will help everyone recognize and prevent attacks,” he says, reminding users to always be cautious in installing mobile apps due to the rise in malicious software.
“Let us continue to come together, stay together, and work together for a society secure from cybercrime.”
East West Banking Corporation (EastWest) is one of the largest universal banks in the Philippines, based on publicly available data. Established in 1994 and currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, EastWest has steadily grown beyond its years, building fruitful partnerships and acquiring key assets to cement its position as one of the country’s most consumer-focused banks today.
EastWest caters to the financial needs of consumers, middle market corporates, and the mass affluent. Since 2012, EastWest has been trading under the symbol “EW” on the Philippine Stock Exchange, allowing the public to participate in EastWest’s success. EastWest is a subsidiary of Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC), one of the country’s leading conglomerates with a diverse range of interests including real estate, banking, sugar, hospitality, tourism, and power generation.