Identity theft, natural disasters, bank card fraud, and viruses/hacking are Filipinos' top four security concerns, according to the Unisys Security Index 2017 for Philippines.
The index gauges the attitudes of consumers across four security categories, namely national, financial, internet, and personal. The study polled 1,000 consumers in the Philippines.
In terms of personal security, nine in 10 Filipinos worry about unauthorised access to or misuse of their personal information. Identity theft also came as consumers' top security concern.
Besides that, 89 percent of the respondents are concerned about their credit/debit card details being obtained or used by others. Nearly 9 in 10 (88 percent) of them also expressed their concerns about viruses, unsolicited e-mails or hacking.
Overall, Filipinos showed the highest security concern as compared to other respondents from 12 countries included in the index. The Philippines scored 243 on the scale of 300, which indicated a serious level of concern. The country's score is also higher than the global average of 173.
John Kendall, director of border and national security programmes of Unisys, said the findings indicated that Filipinos are mostly concerned about security issues that have a direct impact on them.
"Approximately nine in 10 Filipinos are seriously concerned about identity theft, credit card/debit fraud and computer security, reflecting the very real threat that their personal details may be stolen and sold on the dark web - highlighted by last year's breach of the Philippine voter registry database," said Kendall.
In addition, the Philippines is the only country where natural disasters is one of the top security concerns. Nine in 10 respondents from the country worry about epidemic, floods, typhoons and earthquakes.
Kendall said this finding came as no surprise since the Philippines is located on the 'ring of fire' where earthquakes and typhoons commonly occur. However, he said digital technologies can help the country mitigate the impact of such disasters on the people. "Digital technology can help address this via 'smart cities' strategies featuring interconnected and intelligent infrastructure to automatically detect, predict and manage responses to better protect citizens and minimise impacts," he explained.
In a nutshell, Filipinos' high level of concern toward data security only signifies the need for organisations to incorporate advanced security strategies and technologies to better protect personal information.
"Organisations that collect and use Philippine consumer data need to show that they employ robust cyber resiliency frameworks to safeguard the data in their care, from both malicious and accidental data breach threats," said Kendall.
"Identity is fundamental to addressing these issues. Anchoring our identity with secure multifactor authentication (including biometrics) provides a strong deterrent to unauthorised people accessing personal information, finances and the IT systems we all depend upon," he concluded.
Besides the Philippines, the Unisys Security Index also covered Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, United States, and United Kingdom.
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