Cyber crime has become big business

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Published: September 26, 2016 6:12:28 AM

IT security firm Symantec is moving beyond traditional security software to help customers protect against a wider range of threats.

IT security firm Symantec is moving beyond traditional security software to help customers protect against a wider range of threats. “With the acquisition of Blue Coat, we are equipped to create the industry’s largest pure-play cyber security company,” Sanjay Rohatgi, senior vice-president, Asia Pacific & Japan, Symantec tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:

How prepared are enterprises to fight cyber attacks?

Symantec discovered more than 430 million new unique pieces of malware in 2015, up 36% from the year before. What is most remarkable is that these numbers no longer surprise us. Attacks against business and nations hit the headlines with such regularity that they are anything but news, making us numb to the sheer volume and acceleration of cyber threats.

Today’s cyber criminals are skilled enough and sufficiently resourced to have the persistence and patience to carry out highly successful attacks on consumers, businesses and governments around the world. Their efforts have turned cyber crime into big business with information being stolen on an epic scale. A recent report by Symantec (Internet Security Threat Report, Volume 21) revealed an organisational shift by cyber criminals globally as they are adopting corporate best practices and establishing professional businesses in order to increase the efficiency of their attacks.

So, what is the way forward?

It is pertinent to consider requisite cyber security measures while designing the IT blueprint in any organisation. They can no longer rely on individual point products at each control point to stop them. They need to invest in solutions that leverage existing threat protection infrastructure and help companies achieve an effective data protection regime.

What is Symantec doing to help organisations prepare for the next generation of cyber security?

Symantec is moving beyond traditional software to help customers protect against a wider range of threats. It’s time to go on the offensive, leveraging the next generation of both threat and information protection technologies to fight increasingly sophisticated adversaries.

How will the acquisition of Blue Coat enhance your product portfolio?

With the acquisition of Blue Coat, we are enhancing our leadership position to define the future of cyber security and set the pace for innovation industry-wide. The marriage of Symantec and Blue Coat’s technologies will provide a much greater level of protection for our customers as well as partners. With the two companies together, we will have over 385,000 customers worldwide, sharing a mutual commitment to deliver innovation and drive customer success.

Give us an overview of Symantec’s business in India?

Initiatives such as Digital India and Smart Cities are targeted towards improving citizen experience, digitally. This, in turn, has opened up avenues for vulnerabilities and advanced threat attacks. That is why Symantec is relevant to Indian businesses and consumers.

Apart from development and availability of robust solutions, it also necessitates building adequate cyber security skill-sets. Symantec has partnered with Nasscom to build a cyber-skilled workforce, lending certifications and training to increase employability and cyber risk resilience. India is a strategic location for Symantec and a key engineering centre. We have key security intelligence installations such as Security Technology and Response (STAR) Centre and Security Operation Centre which are the key components of Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network (GIN) in India. One of our largest centres of innovation is in Pune with other engineering centres located in Chennai and Bangalore.

How can banks combat cyber threats?

To ensure that the country’s move towards a cashless economy is secure, Reserve Bank of India has rightly mandated the creation of a Cyber Security Framework to fortify the security postures at banks. It entails cyber security policy to be separate from the broader IT policy.

As banks relook at their security framework, we recommend adopting an “Information Centric Model”. This approach will involve envisioning the information infrastructure, information intelligence, and information governance, which provide banks a global view of the threat landscape inclusive of their own environment. This view is very different from others in the industry. It will enable security experts to better evaluate and deploy suitable solutions such as incidence response, leveraging a Security Operations Centre (SOC) to monitor and manage cyber risks and implement solutions like Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to combat advanced threats.

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