High-ranking cabinet officials from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh recently visited the Philippines to learn about business process outsourcing (BPO) and information and communications technology (ICT) including cybersecurity. Managed by the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) in collaboration with Management and Training International (MTI) Limited in Bangladesh, the study tour and workshop included visits to private, government, and academic institutions—the ICT Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), KLab Cyscorpions Inc., Asia Pacific College, Mapua Institute of Technology (MIT), and NOW Corporation.

The Bangladeshi officials expressed the urgent need for clear strategic directions on cybersecurity initiatives. During his lecture on the topic, Mel Velasco Velarde, CEO of NOW Corporation and AIJC, discussed specific cases of security breaches experienced by big multinational firms and government-induced errors in cybersecurity. He emphasized the need for organizations to meet the “Reasonable Security” requirement (known as the “20 Critical Security Controls” or CSCs) prescribed by top global private and governmental cybersecurity inter-agencies.

“NOW has the capability of complying with these 20 CSCs for our customers through our cloaking devices, real-time diagnostics and monitoring tools, counter-attack tools, cyber manpower and other technologies that help prevent hacking, malware, physical breaches or self-inflicted errors—the costs of negligence and non-compliance could run in the billions of pesos,” Mr. Velarde shared. He pointed out how NOW Corporation clients, mostly blue chip companies in the Philippines, have successfully implemented their highly secure collaboration software and services that help ensure business success. Velarde expressed willingness to partner with the officials from various ministries as they develop and implement a strategic roadmap towards ICT and BPO development in Bangladesh.