COL Financial, PH’s largest online stockbroker with some 225,000 registered investors and about P62 billion in managed assets, has reported a possible security breach in their system that they discovered sometime October 17, 2017. Conrado Bate, COL Financial President and CEO, says the breach just involves client personal information and data, and not client accounts and stock portfolios: “Clients’ accounts are intact, their account balances and stock positions are safe. Transactions have not been compromised. This just involves client information and personal data.” He recommended clients to regularly change and update their passwords for protection.
COL Financial reported the breach to the National Privacy Commission (NPC) and the Philippine Stock Exchange last Friday, October 20, 2017. NPC, the government agency dealing with cybersecurity and personal data privacy protection, has issued an order directing COL Financial to to submit, within five days, a comprehensive report on the potential hacking of its client database. “The public may rest assured that the NPC is monitoring this incident 24/7 in fulfillment of its mandate as watchdog for the protection of the data privacy rights of every individual who may possibly be affected,” NPC Chief Raymund Enriquez Liboro said.
COL Financial has assured the public that the breach has no material impact on its operations: “However, we can say with confidence that the breach, should it be real, will not have any material impact on the operations/business of the company,” COL Financial told the stock exchange. Clients’ account balances and stock positions “have not been compromised,” it said.