EastWest Customers Can Feel Secure with Industry Leaders Rick Pusag and Joey Regala On Duty

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Top Officers Rick Pusag and Joey Regala guard the doors of EastWest against cybersecurity and IT threats. Sharing decades of experience combined between the two, they lead the Bank’s Cybersecurity and Information Departments with EVP Rick Pusag as the Technology and Productivity Head and FVP Joey Regala as the Chief Information Security Officer and Data Protection Officer. With Rick Pusag at the helm ­of systems and infrastructure and Joey Regala manning the gates of cybersecurity, customers can feel at ease knowing that these industry experts are on their side, at all times.

Working Hand in Hand
As cases of bank fraud climb in this challenging climate, EastWest remains vigilant in its efforts to keep the Bank and its customers secure against future attacks. Joey’s group is chiefly concerned with data protection and cybersecurity, while Rick’s group handles the IT infrastructure that both customers and employees interact with—the two collaborate closely together to keep EastWest’s cybersecurity up to date.

“EastWest is constantly adjusting to the cyber terrain, looking for vulnerabilities and mitigating them accordingly,” says Regala. “Our office, the Information Security and Data Protection Office, consistently coordinates with the IT Group to further strengthen cybersecurity.”

Defense In Depth
EastWest Chief Information Security Officer Joey Regala stands in the way of cybersecurity threats to protect the Bank and its customers. Joey transitioned from Auditing to Accounting to IT Auditing and now Cybersecurity working for nearly 30 years of wide information technology experience. He has worked with different companies and banks along with being a trailblazer in the Information Safety Officers Group (ISOG) where he was the former President. A member of the PNP - Anti CyberCrime Advisory Council and the BAP Cybersecurity Working Committee.

What Joey deems vital in his line of work is a learning mindset. “You have to learn the behavior of people, of people on the other side, in order to prevent potential attacks. The Cybersecurity Officer continues to stress the importance of knowing how threats are formed and how they will attack. “You have to learn from the hacker, learn to think like the hacker.”

According to Joey, cybersecurity defense is like a castle with many layers of protection, he uses the term ‘Defense in Depth’, a security strategy that enacts multiple security measures to protect against threats. He also stresses the significance of the use of AI and Machine Learning when it comes to identifying and solving IT threats. “The power of AI is a big help in detecting threats and identifying errant behavior to prevent attacks. Machine learning assists in identifying fraud management and there are analytical tools using geolocation, or other means to identify abnormal behavior in account movements.”

An avid cyclist, Joey Regala draws parallels from safety in the road while on a bike to his line of work. “Biking is like Cybersecurity. You have to keep on pedaling or you  will fall, just like in Cybersecurity  you need to  keep on  looking new ways to defend the cyberspace. You have to stop, look, and listen. Always find time to identify possible threats and navigate the terrain to find the best course of action”. He adds that one should always work towards new and evolved ways to shore up the Bank’s defense. You constantly have to do risk assessment and take time to patiently determine the best course of action. Each problem, each attack can be different. So, the solutions must evolve along the way.

“Never rest - you either sink or swim - that’s my cyber security slogan. Never be satisfied with what you have done, always look at new ways to protect the bank.” says Joey.

Man With a Mission 
Hailing from a military background from the US along with extensive international professional experience, Rick Pusag seeks to give meaningful service to the Bank’s employees and customers. “The military was about identifying what people require to be successful. Individuals are very important, and you need to understand what they need to succeed.” He also stresses that “leadership is through motivation and pointing others in the right direction to succeed. The world of tech and banking can hold multiple challenges, but these can always be overcome with the right people and the right mindset.” 

Sharing that a good day at work means finding solutions to problems and solving them with your team, Rick remains confident of the Bank’s ability to handle both current and future threats. “In the recent months, EastWest has made significant investments to upgrade and futureproof its technology infrastructure.” 

Being resilient and having a positive mindset is crucial not only in work, but in life as well. Rick shares, “In a job where there is always a challenge, it is best to remind yourself that nothing is insurmountable, and you can overcome that hurdle and resolve them. You need people to bounce those situations with.”

Customer Protection at Its Best
Rick states that the Bank is always ready to handle the threats that will come their way. “We aim to fully implement and exploit EastWest's investment in the digital experience platform.” He remarks that this platform will improve how customers interact with the Bank. And he assures that it will also provide enhanced capabilities to its employees as the platform can also create improved tools they can utilize when servicing customers. Users of the Bank’s systems will continue to experience advanced upgrades that will give them easier and more secure access.

The customers of EastWest can rest assured knowing that experts such as Joey Regala and Rick Pusag are on the job. They maintain the stance that there is a love to protect their clients and to put them first in terms of safety and security.


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