In South Asia, is Cybersecurity the Weakest Link?

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Cyber-attacks in India have seen a significant increase since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic forced people to work remotely, organisations are increasingly becoming vulnerable to data breaches.

India reported 1.16 million cyber security cases in 2020, a threefold increase when compared to 2019, as per government data presented in parliament. Approximately, 3000 cybersecurity-related issues were reported every day during the year. And the situation is not just alarming in India, but worldwide, including the United States, according to a media report.

Cyber attacks amid the Covid-19 pandemic rose by almost 300 percent last year in the country to reach 1,158,208 compared to 394,499 in 2019, the Union home ministry told Parliament on Tuesday, citing the data from Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a Hindustan Times report added.

In order to discuss the issues related to cyber security, W.Media is organising a digital event ‘South Asia Cybersecurity- The Weakest Link!’ The event will have a few panel sessions, preparing your cyber security team to help them deal better with breaches, challenges in cyber security in this decade- blockchain, insurance and others.

Eminent speakers from the tech event will be a part of this event G.Narendra Nath, Joint Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat, Prakesh Bell, Head Security Engineering, India & SAARC, Check Point Software Technologies, Neeraj Bhople, Head – Technology & Engineering , DFB, Mahindra Finance, Shadab Siddiqui, Head – Information Security, Privacy, Trust and Compliance, Hotstar, Piyush Gupta, Associate Director – Cyber Security, MobiKwik, Bibhu Krishna, Head- IT & Infra,, Dilip Panjwani, CISO & IT Controller, L&T Infotech, Ravi Prakash V Burlagadda, Vice President – Information Security, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, A Shiju Rawther, Chief Information & Technology Officer, CARE Ratings Limited, Nitin Gaur, Senior Director – Information Security, Omega Healthcare Management Services Private Limited, Saravanan Thangavelu, SVP – Enterprise IT, Hinduja Global Solutions, Vaibhav Khandelwal, Co – Founder and CTO, Shadowfax Technologies, TR Venkateswaran , Chief Information Security Officer, Punjab National Bank, Vishal Salvi, Chief Information Security Officer & Head Cyber Security Practice, Infosys, Sabarinathan Sampath, CSO, DHN (venture of ZNet Technologies) and others.

“In 2020, ransomware activity surged as cybercriminals took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, which drove the deployment of insecure remote access solutions and left organizations more vulnerable to phishing attacks and exploitation of unpatched vulnerabilities. However, the ransomware pandemic has not yet abated. In fact, ransomware attacks are continuing to surge, growing by 93 per cent,” said Prakesh Bell, Head- Security Engineering, India & SAARC, Check Point Software Technologies.

“A flurry of new threats, technologies, and business models have emerged in the cybersecurity space as the world shifted to a remote work model in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of a network perimeter in this new world accelerated the adoption of SASE (secure access service edge), zero trust, and XDR (extended detection and response) to ensure remote users and their data are protected.

Adversaries have taken advantage of the complexity introduced by newly remote workforces to falsely impersonate legitimate users through credential theft and have upped the ante by targeting customers in the victim’s supply chain. The ability to monetize ransomware attacks by threatening to publicly leak victim data has made it more lucrative, while employers continue to fend off insiders with an agenda,” said A Shiju Rawther, Chief Information & Technology Officer, CARE Ratings Limited.

“You can only defend if you know there is a breach. In the traditional On-Premise environment, it was very clear how access needed to be provided from external sources and what kind of precautions needed to be taken. However in today’s Hybrid environment of Multiple Cloud vendors, On-Premise and Mobile world, It is extremely easy to overlook. Vulnerability if you don’t understand the End-To-End Architecture of your Infrastructure, Network, and Application.

Most of the applications are still not transformed using native cloud capabilities. These leave gaps or vulnerabilities which are again the responsibility of the Customer and not the cloud provider. The Data Privacy rules add another layer of complexity to the Architecture and management of data in global organisations.

In the Hybrid environment, there are multiple layers of security configurations that need to be established between each of the components.

It is always not possible to envisage all the different scenarios of access vulnerability and provide a fix,” said Saravanan Thangavelu, SVP – Enterprise IT, Hinduja Global Solutions.

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