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Converge partners with UnionBank to combat cybercrimes

CONVERGE ICT Solutions, Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding with UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. to join efforts in fighting online and financial cybercrimes, the listed fiber internet provider announced on Thursday.

“Based on available data, we have seen a spike in financial fraud. We commend UnionBank for spearheading this initiative as we help prevent more Filipinos from being victimized by online fraud,” Converge Chief Network Transformation Officer Paulo Martin G. Santos said in a press release.

Mr. Santos said that the banking and finance industry is one of the most vulnerable sectors to online fraud.

In 2022 alone, Mr. Santos said that Converge had blocked over 4.1 million unique web addresses tied to illicit content. This, according to him makes the banking industry the second top industry affected by cybercrime.

“[These cybercriminals] saw that opportunity to take advantage of Filipinos who are digital migrants — first time to use digital services and are not really familiar with the concept of phishing, scams, text, spam,” said Jose Paolo G. Rufo, chief information security officer and data protection officer of UnionBank.

Mr. Rufo said that according to a report by the Bankers Association of the Philippines an estimated P1 billion were lost in 2021 due to fraudulent attacks by cybercriminals.

“The idea of data privacy as an enabler is important because we as data subjects also depend on various technologies to protect our personal data,” said National Privacy Commission (NPC) Deputy Commissioner Leandro Angelo Y. Aguirre.

Mr. Aguirre said that users should utilize technologies such as encryption, privacy settings, and authentication tools to assess the risks of any possible cybercrimes.

Converge said that the recently signed memorandum of understanding is in line with the advisory opinion issued by NPC that allows sharing of relevant data for investigation. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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