Microsoft has joined forces with PLDT to strengthen digital border and infrastructure security against rising cyber threats across the Philippines, underpinned by threat intelligence and information sharing.
The alliance will seek to leverage the Cyber Threat Intelligence Program (CTIP), an initiative created by Microsoft and spearheaded by its Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) which operates as an international team of technical, legal and business specialists designed to combat cyber crime on a global scale.
Specifically, CTIP collects and distributes cyber intelligence, including that derived from the DCU’s botnet takedown operations to Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), internet service providers (ISPs) and Critical Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs).
CTIP data is also engineered into specific Microsoft products and services to help customers identify threats in internal computing environments.
“Microsoft’s DCU values our threat intelligence-sharing partnerships, and we look forward to seeing how the Microsoft CTIP intelligence helps PLDT to protect the citizens of the Philippines,” said Mary Jo Schrade, assistant general counsel and regional lead of DCU in Asia at Microsoft.
Terms of the agreement will see PLDT gain access to the vendor’s DCU’s Azure-based cyber threat intelligence in real-time, providing information about the impact in the Philippines from the malware families DCU has disrupted in the past. The aim of such intelligence is to provide enhanced insights into criminal cyber infrastructure located within their jurisdiction.
In response, PLDT -- leveraging its network domain knowledge -- will support in two-way sharing of intelligence to identify compromised infrastructure and alert impacted entities in the country to potential cyber crime threats.
“Our mature and sophisticated threat intelligence operations is one of the key and most robust pillars of the PLDT group’s cybersecurity structure,” added Angel T. Redoble, CISO of PLDT. “We are glad to partner with Microsoft to help fortify our strong cyber threat intelligence operations, and to help us better protect our customers in particular, and the country’s cyber defences in general.”
With deep cyber security intelligence expertise, PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications currently safeguard over 70 million mobile and over 3.7 million broadband customers nationwide - investing approximately P3 billion in cyber security infrastructure during the past 12 months.
In 2021, the business acquired information on more than 200 million cyber threats and prevented close to 300 million combined types of cyber attacks.
“Security is at an inflection point as cyber attacks become more sophisticated and digital attack surfaces exponentially increase,” outlined Andres Ortola, country general manager of Philippines at Microsoft. “We believe that anything less than comprehensive security is no security at all.
"We are committed to ensuring the internet is safe and secure for all users and our DCU is leading the fight against cyber crime to protect businesses and individuals and to promote trust globally.
"To date, the DCU has completed 24 malware disruption operations worldwide, resulting in millions of devices kept safe from cyber criminals and preventing millions in financial losses. Alongside PLDT, we can do more for the Philippines and empower a safer cyber space for all Filipinos.”