Cybercrime : Staying real in a world of everything remote

September 24, 2020 4:40 AM

Companies need to choose genuine software not just for productivity and performance, but also for security and protection

Malware from counterfeit software and targeted attacks are intrinsically linked.Malware from counterfeit software and targeted attacks are intrinsically linked.

By Farhana Haque

People, teams, and organisations everywhere are being tested during the pandemic. How well each organisation navigates these challenging times will be defined by their tech intensity and how effectively they are using digital tools and capabilities. However, the technology that is enabling continuity amid one of our biggest moments of socio-economic disruption can also be cause for concern. Cybercriminals are opportunistically using Covid-themed content as people are actively looking for information around the coronavirus and solutions to combat this crisis. Targeted attacks are on the rise. And so is the sophistication of these attacks. Pirated software creates inroads for malware that can soon infect entire IT systems.

Malware from counterfeit software and targeted attacks are intrinsically linked. Countries with higher piracy rates tend to be more severely impacted by cyberthreats, since the software cannot fend off attacks as effectively. Software piracy preys on people’s desperation to urgently bridge the digital gap, and targeted attacks leverage people’s ongoing sense of concern, confusion, and search for resolution.

Enterprises with a weak cybersecurity posture to take on these threats are at significant risk of financial loss and erosion of trust. The latest edition of Microsoft’s Security Endpoint Threat Report highlights that India registered the seventh-highest malware encounters and the third-highest ransomware encounters across the Asia Pacific region in 2019.

As we commit to building a resilient tech ecosystem, it is essential that organisations choose genuine software not just for productivity and performance, but also for best-in-class security and protection as well as hassle-free updates and 24X7 support resources. Two core pathways are critical for staying protected:
Make security a collaborative journey

The Zero Trust security model is no longer a business option but is an imperative. Based on the principle of “never trust, always verify,” the security posture treats each step across the network and each request for access to resources as a unique risk to be evaluated and verified.

While organisations put in place necessary access and preventive controls, use cloud storage services to automatically backup important data, leverage cloud technology to limit attackers’ access to data and help security operations respond better to attacks, employees should also be educated on safe cyber practices. Employees should know how to spot phishing and social engineering attacks and practice credential hygiene.

Buy genuine software
Genuine software gives enterprises a stable and secure digital backbone to ensure business continuity. Buying software from trusted sources, using only licensed software, checking product key sources, not falling for discounts or cheaper packages and being wary of physical product packaging are some of the ways to ensure you know your software prior to the purchase.

The digital threat landscape is constantly evolving, and only an updated security strategy that is enhanced by genuine software can effectively protect organisations and employees.

The writer is Group Director – Devices, Microsoft India

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