Cybersecurity in Digital age

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You must have heard about the global cyberattack of WannaCry ransomware in over 200 countries. It encrypted all the files on the machine and asked for payment. Ransomware, which demands payment after launching a cyber-attack, has become a rising trend among hackers looking for a quick payout.

Every day it seems another news breaks about cyber-criminals hacking in and stealing data, & information. Private companies, government agencies, hospitals…no one is immune. Cybersecurity is no longer buried in the tech section of organizations, newspapers and websites – its front-page news.

With the penetration of the digital movement, cyber-attacks have also doubled year over year, making businesses and government sites more vulnerable.

In simple terms cybersecurity is use of digital technologies to protect company networks, computers and programs from unauthorized access and subsequent damage.

In recent times, every organization has launched a “go-digital” initiative. This has led to explosion of connected environments.

The growing mobility trend has sparked a rapid growth of endpoints that must be secured, and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs mean that employees could be accessing sensitive data on unsecured devices.

The prevalence of cloud based services and third party data storing has opened up new areas of risk.

As businesses adopt the new technologies like Big Data, Analytics, IoT & Mobility, the focus must be on how to safeguard the data spread across devices and cloud.

Cybersecurity must be a key factor during your journey to digitally transforming your business, just as you would ensure that your offices, brick-and-mortar store has locks and security systems of the highest quality, your digital storefront must have the same levels of security. If consumers do not trust these digital storefront with their data, or if that trust is broken because of a data breach, the cost to rebuild that trust is incredibly high.

The best way to protect yourself is to be suspicious of unsolicited emails and always type out web addresses yourself rather than clicking on links.

There are different types of attacks we have seen so far:

  • Hackers target the software vulnerabilities that are yet to be discovered  and patched
  • Attack on mobile devices: malwares designed specifically for smartphones to steal data
  • Data leakage: hackers steal the data by interrupting the traffic between organization and cloud environments
  • Programming: hackers use malicious code on any server that gets replicated and allow them to delete, steal data

There are multiple ways to combat these cyber-attacks:

  • Network defense: detect unwarranted traffic e.g. someone communicating with malicious host, malware entry into the network, unauthorized data transfer
  • Detect user access violations: misuse of user access within the system, ensure proper authentications, use of antivirus, malware to prevent steal user information
  • Mobile device protection: detect unauthorized devices or prevent hackers from compromising individual devices.
  • Protect data in motion & rest: ensure data transfers protected within various environments
  • Investment in securing IoT devices – today with everything is connected it is extremely important to secure all access points.

Today with machine learning organizations are in a very good position to know what users are doing that can affect the network and increase risk. Artificial Intelligence is used to constantly learn new malware behaviors and recognize how viruses may mutate to try and get around security systems.

Traditional IT security practices like network monitoring and segmentation will become even more critical as businesses and governments deploy IoT devices.

 

Recent events have highlighted the growing need for enhanced cybersecurity.

Sandeep Raut

7th Rank in Global Top 100 Digital Transformation Influencers Delivered speech at India Analytics & Big Data Summit at Bangalore on "How Machine Learning is helping in Digital Transformation" on 4th Feb 2016 Delivered Thought Leadership speech at Unicom - India Analytics & Big Data Summit on "Big Data Analytics disrupting industry" Delivered speech at IIT Mumbai on "Analysing Big data for disruptive innovation" Delivered a keynote speech at Rizvi College of Engineering on "Fraud Detection & Prevention using Analytics" • Director for Digital Transformation in Syntel. • Has more than 29 years of IT Services / Consulting / Off-shoring experience • Over 18 years in Business Intelligence space. • Had helped organizations in establishing the BI-Analytics Services CoEs. • Had spearheaded several marquee accounts and was significantly instrumental in building new business for the practice as well. • Had successfully initiated, mentored & deployed various strategic consulting services & solutions like Digital Transformation, BI Strategy Planning, BI Offshorization, BI Development/Deployment, Campaign Management, Inventory Optimization which resulted into multi-million dollar business. • Had developed & managed Customer relations with Global players across USA, UK & Asia Pacific. Specialties: Digital Transformation, BI & Big Data Analytics Banking and Financial Services, Healthcare LifeSciences, Insurance, Retail Manufacturing - Supply Chain Management

1 Response

  1. As well as the technical steps to protect and detect, the IT function will have to think about how it has a team which can act to protect the company without usual chains of command and permissions.
    Additionally perhaps communication skills will be essential to translate both risks and actions for executives and the wider company. Not sure just saying “all must be responsible” will be enough and IT will have to take a front line role on this topic.

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