The Philippine National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-PH) has successfully conducted its annual CERT-PH Cyber Incident Drill (CCID) anchored on the theme “A Reinforced Cybersecurity: Revamping the Collaborative Competency of Government and Stakeholders in Responding to Threat Incidents” on October 24 – 26, 2022.

The three-day activity coincides with the observance of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month which principally aims to solidify cybersecurity awareness and instill knowledge and confidence to our stakeholders in recognizing various security threats.

Following the success of last year’s CCID, the CERT-PH has fueled its interest in achieving a wide-ranging and more collaborative involvement of stakeholders composed of the Sectoral Leads as well as the representatives from the Critical Information Infostructures (CIIs). For this year, the participants emanate from the sectors of healthcare, water, transportation and logistics, government emergency services, banking, business process outsourcing, and telecommunications.

Joined by a total of forty one (41) participants from nine (9) government agencies and instrumentalities and one (1) CII, the virtual drill, to all intents and purposes, has allowed the participants to be familiar with the various cybersecurity principles to better understand and appreciate their crucial roles and responsibilities in keeping their respective organizations secure. Into the bargain, the CCID likewise strives in forming deeper partnerships with the stakeholders in coordinating defense actions, planning, and developing capabilities for cyber resilience that is timely and relevant on this year’s theme.

With those goals in mind, the learning-driven drill was carried out methodically in three batches through the utilization of CCID 2022 platform whereas participants were expected to complete all the assigned learning paths and critically important challenges thereof during the conduct of exercises. Prior to that, the CCID kicked off with a walk-through of the platform and discussion of rules of engagement to the participants. Hence, the drill has required them to exercise various skills across the board and exert group efforts that are necessary in responding and investigating a cyber incident.

On its opening day, CERT-PH Chief Engr. George P. Tardio set the tone of the event and strongly encouraged active participation and engagement among the participants in order to attain the desired outcome of the entire drill that is geared towards reinforcing stronger collaborative competency between the government and stakeholders through the regular conduct of an undertaking like this. He further highlighted what is at stake and what remains to be done in order to achieve a cyber secure nation.

Moreover, Cybersecurity Bureau OIC-Director Thelma Villamorel underscored the importance of having the annual drill for not only it will enhance the individual capability of each participant but more importantly emphasizing and recognizing their paramount roles in the protection of their respective organization’s security and integrity.

On the drill proper, each participant was given log-in credentials to serve as their official entry pass in order to access and activate their platform’s respective accounts. Participating agencies formed their respective teams taking into account the essence of the CCID which requires collaborative work. Assistance and instructions on the step-by-step access to the CCID 2022 platform and other matters were provided and discussed in detail by the CERT-PH facilitators and moderators throughout the drill. Participants were scored according to the correctness of the findings and their time to react on each exercise.

The CCID wrapped up with the presentation of solutions and answers in accomplishing the challenges provided in the platform to educate the participants on how to pre-emptively respond to various long-term and emerging threat incidents that are very rampant nowadays. The CERT-PH technical personnel who acted as moderators also made sure to provide the necessary guidelines, support and assistance throughout the duration of the drill for the guidance of everyone.

Ultimately, the CCID concluded with the awarding of top performing participants as recognition of their outstanding and valuable efforts in completing the drill. CERT-PH expresses its gratitude and appreciation to everyone for making the event possible and successful. As an offshoot of this activity, the annual National Cyber Drill similarly took place last November 2022 where the general public and wider audience were able to participate in the said event.

CERT-PH hosting the virtual CCID 2022
CERT-PH assisting participants for virtual CCID 2022
The CERT-PH Personnel
The CERT-PH Personnel