Digital footprints have increased remarkably over the past decades due to the rise in the number of people with access to internet. According to the, The Economic Times|Tech in India the number of active Internet users are expected to reach 900 million by 2025, from 622 million in 2020. The advancement of the digital era has simultaneously brought forth the concern for the security of online users and threat from malicious actors in cyberspace.
Cyberattacks – Cyber risks continue to rank among the top global risks as per the Global Risks Report 2021 by the World Economic Forum.
According to the government data, India reported 300% increase in cyber-attacks in 2020 with 1.16 million cases. Malicious actors employ a range of sophisticated tactics including social engineering, phishing, identity theft, spam emails, DDoS attack, malware, ransomware and whaling to steal intellectual property or personal data of the victim by infecting their system.
While cybercrime has been around for a long time first reported in the 1970s, the nature of cyber-attacks has changed. Thanks to the technology advancement, malicious actors have demonstrated how they can inflict considerable damage to institutions and commerce.
In the past year, cyber criminals have leveraged the fear and panic surrounding the pandemic, exploited the vulnerabilities of remote working and lack of preparedness of firms to attack individuals and establishments. Further, with the emergence of technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, 5G and many more, there is now a steep rise in the degree of damage these attacks can cause.
With the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it becomes crucial than ever before that businesses work towards making their network more secure and manage cyber risks. Hence, establishing a robust cybersecurity strategy is at the helm of digital transformation exercise.
In order to be resilient against cyber threats and staying ahead of malicious actors, enterprises need an integrated approach to protect IT assets and effectively implement the cybersecurity strategy. With the help of dynamic CISO and security team, an enterprise can create a robust cyber security system in the company.
In addition, agile, flexible and rapid decision-making including technology governance throughout the company can protect its security and the ecosystem of its partners as well. Building cyber awareness and security culture in the workplace; creating the right level of ownership and responsibility among employees is equally critical step in strengthening cybersecurity. Further, investing in cyber insurance can help mitigate the risks of data breaches, business interruption and other fallouts of cyber-attacks.
However, in the face of rapid digitisation, the challenge for security teams remains in incorporating security to the creation, development and deployment of new internal process, internet opportunity and external products. Companies must secure sensitive data, protected health information (PHI), personal information, intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII), and governmental and industry information systems using new-age technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Intelligent and cognitive technologies such as AI and ML are becoming critical to cyber operations as they help mitigate threats to cybersecurity. AI and ML based computing systems can discover, categorise and synthesise data to help understand patterns; thereby creating proactive and efficient response to such threats.
Along with automation and adoption of zero-trust policies enterprises, collective action on part of all stakeholders will bring confidence to consumers and help us develop a resilient digital ecosystem. The security and technology community along with industry and government leadership need to develop policy that incentivizes the take-up of security solutions on topmost priority while simultaneously building greater trust, co-operation and transparency between the different components of the ecosystem.