Cybersecurity Track, a new specialization under the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BS-IT) program, was announced on Monday by Information Technology Department Chair Raul Vincent Lumapas in a forum.
Seven electives are offered under the track, which includes Introduction to Cyber Forensics that many students have taken an interest in, according to Lumapas.
Only three schools in the Philippines currently offer the cybersecurity-related program, namely AMA University (Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity), Holy Angel University (Professional Science Master’s in Cybersecurity), and AdDU.
“We expect that the future graduates of the BS-IT with specialization/concentration on cybersecurity as responsible leaders in the field. We are expecting them to become cybersecurity experts guided by ethical and moral principles,” Lumapas said in an e-mail.
“Being an expert in cybersecurity would either mean being an ethical cybersecurity expert or a cracker (hacker involved in criminal tendencies). With AdDU’s emphasis on formation, spirituality, and engagement, we are expecting that the graduates will be directed into the right path as being protectors of our data and ICT infrastructures,” he concluded.
To discuss cybersecurity and cybercrimes prevention, Computer Studies (CS) cluster, in partnership with Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), organized a Pakighinabi forum at 3F CCFC.
DICT Mindanao Assistant Director Alimbazar Assum observed people nowadays exist in two worlds: internet and the real, wherein both planes citizens perform similar tasks.
He warned, however, that this is also true with criminals.
PSSG Richard Buentipo, Forensic Examiner of PNP Anti-Cybercrime, identified usual complaints they cater: online libel, identity theft, extortion, sextortion, phishing, and online scams.
Julia Sta. Romana, an officer of ICT Davao Inc. (IDI), stressed the need to employ numerous cybersecurity measures even before government mandates for the clients to require it themselves.
She noted cyber threats in the Philippines are not from the infrastructure but the people. Work-at-home employees, especially companies handling sensitive information, present vulnerability, and could be criminal liability.
“The problem is between the keyboard and the chair. A lot of Filipinos still don’t practice proper cybersecurity habits that would make our clients more comfortable with the idea of more Filipinos telecommuting or outsourcing to smaller Filipino companies,” she said.
Assum shared one must transact only with reliable sites, opt for Cash-On-Delivery services in online purchases, and avoid too-good-to-be-true offers.
To protect children online, IDI officer Jae Sta. Romana listed tools and application software such as Microsoft and Apple’s family sharing system and Android’s family link, where parents could connect their accounts to their kids for access and protection.
The issue, however, he said, is the parent’s awareness of these services and their eagerness to implement it.
“The hacker world is an extremely cooperative and collaborative world,” said Fr. Ramon Prudencio Toledo, SJ of University Information Technology Office (AdDU-UITO).
“If in the real world, it is said ‘in war, the best defense is offense,’ but in the cyber world baliktarin natin to win a war the best offense is defense,” Assum said.
John Phillip Garcia, a college professor teaching Science, Technology, and Society (STS) course, said instilling cyber responsibility to Generation Z students is of prime importance.
“It’s not just being cautious of [cyber] attacks but also being responsible citizens in the digital world,” he told Atenews.