With remote work arrangements set to stay, we are more vulnerable than ever to cyber-attacks.
By Ripu Bajwa
We are living in an era, wherein organisations have been introduced to newer ways of managing and operating their businesses. Owing to the pandemic, majority of the organisations are operating remotely and are trying to steer through the new normal to maintain their business continuity.
These new operating models, though beneficial for employees, have also created multiple endpoints in data chains. This has provided cyber attackers access to multiple end points to businesses’ core data. Hence, it is not surprising to note that as per a government report, cyber-attacks amid the pandemic rose by almost 300% last year in the country. With remote work arrangements set to stay, we are more vulnerable than ever to cyber-attacks. The cost of these types of attacks and increased vulnerability, highlight the need for governments to rapidly accelerate ‘cyber resiliency planning’. This ability to prevent, respond to and recover from cybercrime will help to ensure a strong foundation as we build towards global economic recovery.
The enormous toll of cyber-attacks
Ransomware and other sophisticated cyber-attacks cause damage like we have never seen before. These increasingly impact the critical IT infrastructure of organisations. It has been found that cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. However, the damage caused by cyber-attacks stretch far beyond financial costs, with the theft or destruction of personal data and intellectual property, as well as reputational harm.
Beyond protection: cyber resilience drives economic growth
Cyber security is much more than just an insurance policy against attacks. Cyber resilience, if implemented effectively can help turbocharge long-term economic prosperity and innovation. The cybersecurity market in India is already showing strong growth and underlining its importance in economic eco system. As per a report by Nasscom and Data Security Council of India, the Indian cybersecurity services industry is expected to grow a CAGR of 21% to touch $13.6 billion by 2025.
Hence, digital transformation will remain crucial to accelerating economic recovery, and will require a strong resilient cyber foundation, to ensure security and trust. New technologies – AI, big data, cloud, and edge computing—are revolutionising the economy, but security concerns and risk are slowing their adoption. These concerns mean companies may hesitate to start digital projects, thus stifling their innovation potential.
Unleash cyber resilience’s potential
Attackers are constantly sharpening their spears, forcing IT leaders to upgrade their IT armory without any delay. However, organisations by themselves, cannot singlehandedly revolutionise their entire cyber security landscape. They would require support from the government and their business counterparts to quicken the pace of cyber security adoption. The good news is that, the government is well positioned to guide the private sector towards implementing a risk-based approach to security.
We are undoubtedly at a crucial juncture in recovery planning. We have the opportunity to lay robust digital foundations and empower a new wave of tech-driven infrastructure. The pace and scale of cyberattacks in the last twelve months is a warning that a digitally transformed economy and society can only be sustainable with cyber resiliency at its very foundation. Hence, it will be interesting to see how the future unfolds for the cybersecurity landscape in India, and how strongly cyber resiliency will act as a shield for businesses against any malicious attacks.
The writer is director & general manager, Data Protection Solutions, Dell Technologies, India.