With 5G, the attack surface will be much wider

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Updated: December 12, 2019 2:06:26 AM

Businesses have now started to realise that protecting everything is not possible, which leads to the question of ‘what is important’.

Digital transformation is real and widespread across industry verticals. However, with this transformation comes digital risk, and the conversation has now shifted from just cybersecurity to digital risk, “making our proposition in the market, stronger,” stress two senior executives at US technology firm, RSA Security – George Lee, vice-president, APJ, RSA Security and Rajnish Gupta, regional director, RSA Security, India. “Digital risk is a new form of risk and is larger than the security or cyber risks we faced earlier. Put simply, digital risk management is the next cybersecurity frontier,” they tell Sudhir Chowdhary in a joint interview. Excerpts:

Cybersecurity is becoming an important part of India’s digitised future. How is RSA Security addressing this concern and helping its customers to be on top of this challenge?
George Lee: Traditionally, cybersecurity was seen as the way to protect everything. Businesses have now started to realise that protecting everything is not possible, which leads to the question of ‘what is important’. This is where risk management solutions help. We believe in a risk-based approach and educate our customers and partners about digital risk management keeping in mind the digital transformation trends. A lot of information produced, basis the usage of cloud services, internet and mobile data, often leads to risks. RSA is helping its customers in understanding this difference from the traditional cybersecurity approach.

Rajnish Gupta: RSA Security is focused on risk management, integrated risk management and we are at the intersection of the world with digital transformation. This is the area where standalone cybersecurity conversations don’t hold really well. It is all risk-based—what information is important and what needs to be safeguarded.

How is digital transformation progressing for RSA Security in India?
Gupta: Every customer we speak to— banking, government, NBFCs, smart cities, —is taking the digital transformation step. We see a huge amount of momentum with fintech companies, which is the fastest growing segment globally and is making a huge impact in Indian industry. Digital transformation is real and this is what we are hearing from our big brother ‘Dell Technologies’. With this transformation comes digital risk and the talk has now shifted from just a cybersecurity conversation to a digital risk conversation, making our proposition in the market stronger.

Can you elaborate on RSA Security’s solution offerings to provide a risk-free environment to your customers?
Gupta: With the digital transformation wave, the way we do our business, how we interact with our businesses, customers, and suppliers has changed. Some of the biggest risks are third party and to elaborate more on that and the infamous Facebook fiasco – it wasn’t that Facebook was breached, but it percolated from Cambridge Analytica. So, it is not just yourself, your third party, your vendors, your partners, you need to really ensure they are safe and the risk could really percolate from there. We need to look at it from a holistic level and with digital transformation, the game is changing with respect to how you manage your risks.

The Smart Cities market is expanding due to Digital India. How is RSA Security contributing to this market?
Gupta: What we have as solutions are horizontal and it really applies to every market we work with. It applies to Smart Cities as well, because they are digitising, basically they are transforming and hence everything is connected. Now, how do you ensure that you have safeguarded it well? The recent Aramco issue, there are drones doing the work today, IT (Information Technology) and OT (Operational Technology) is merging today. We are moving towards OT and we are collaborating. From Dell Technologies’ perspective, it has OT gateways and we are collaborating with it. RSA Labs is working around this to safeguard and develop solutions from OT side and safeguard Smart Cities as well.

India is at the advent of 5G. How is it going to be a game-changing opportunity for the technology sector owing to cyber frauds and security?
Lee: It is not only helping the telcos. If you look at 5G as a technology, what we expect to see when 5G is fully rolled-out, I will say that the entire attack surface will be a lot wider. Right now, we have the 4G networks, but there are limitations on mobile devices and IoT. With the 5G capability, there will be bigger bandwidth of data residing in devices, the possibilities of data becomes so much more from a risk perspective. With these bigger bandwidths, how do we manage the risks? This is where RSA Security comes in.

Gupta: Edge computingwill become real and attack surface is going to increase and that is what we need to manage. We need to see how we can manage the data better, to ensure it is safeguarded. This will become the biggest asset we need to manage.

How is RSA Security performing in India? What is your go-to-market strategy for India?
Lee: RSA Security is growing against the market and we have expectations of growing ahead of the market because we lead a lot of thought leadership as far as cybersecurity is concerned. We were the first to take the risk-based approach from a security perspective. Low risk is inevitable and it is not about whether you will get hacked, it is about when you will get hacked.

Gupta: According to Gartner, there is 12% growth in the India market and we are growing way ahead of that market. RSA Security has a very strong focus on the academic alliances, in terms of skill building. From a cybersecurity standpoint, a report mentions that there is a shortage of 3 million skilled personnel worldwide and India has a very strong talent pool to fulfil this shortage. Cybersecurity is one such area which we need to look into and that should be the focus to see how we can bridge the gap of skill shortage versus talent pool availability.

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