With Cyber-criminals on the prowl, are your hyper-connected devices safe?

In the entire calendar year, the telecom and ICT industry consider October as the most important month. If you think it’s for accounting their financials or announcing their quarterly or half-yearly earnings, you are mistaken! It is a month dedicated to instilling cybersecurity awareness at large. Fearing cyber-threats every organization in this world wants to be “Cybersecuritically Correct” and the month of October aims at disseminating the much-needed cognizance on curbing cyberattacks.

The National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, October, was created in 2004 by the USA’s Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance to provide a reminder that each one of us has the power to make the Internet safer and more secure and it is imperative to have a dedicated month to create that awareness.

The threat is immensely growing and as newer technologies unfold, newer cybercrime tactics unfold parallelly too! It is the age of connected devices, which are essential to our professional and personal lives, but cybercriminals have gravitated to these platforms as well. Taking onus, in curbing cyberthreats, experts from the industry, voiced their opinion exclusively through Voice&Data in creating awareness on Cybersecurity.

Surendra Singh, Country Director – India & SAARC Forcepoint

Austin-headquartered Forcepoint advocates the use of a human-centric approach by organizations to counter the devastating effects of cyber attacks on computer systems and establishments. Forcepoint believes that risk adaptive and human-centric security models are the most effective cybersecurity strategies.

Educating technologists, Forcepoint’s Country Director – India & SAARC, Surendra Singh, says, “In the hyper-connected world, cybersecurity is a never-ending battle and it is a constant challenge to keep up with the regulations to protect critical data from targeted attacks and accidental exposure. In the age of digitization, more and more data resides outside the organization’s security perimeter, as employees seek to use it on-demand anywhere. It is imperative for IT teams to have a complete visibility and control on its critical data as it moves in and out of the organization’s possession. A human-centric security strategy, which starts with an understanding of the behavioral patterns of users and all their digital identities as they interact with data is the paradigm shift that’s needed to reduce risk and reduce security friction.”

Srinivas Rao, co-Founder and CEO, Aujas

Aujas, with offices in the Americas and India, provides security program assessment, identifying the key transformation requirements and development of cybersecurity strategy and transformation roadmap.

Valuing the month of October in creating the awareness on cybersecurity, Srinivas Rao, co-Founder and CEO, Aujas, comments, “Cybersecurity Awareness month is the perfect reminder for organizations to re-evaluate the policies in place to protect their data and integrity. Given that the average cost of a data breach in India has increased by 7.9% over the previous year as per a 2018 Ponemon Institute Study, this yearly reminder could not have come sooner. Companies tend to focus on securing hardware and software against cyber threats but overlook the human element. Adequate training and frameworks need to be in place to monitor and protect against insider threats. Identity and access management are areas to focus on, without which data breaches are pandemics waiting to happen. As attacks grow in sophistication, our awareness must stay at par as well.”

Saravanan Theckyam, Head of Marketing – Broadcast & Communications, Tata Elxsi

Tata Elxsi is a globally acclaimed-provider of design and technology services for product engineering and solutions across industries including broadcast, communications and automotive. The company also provides solutions and services for emerging technologies such as IoT, Big Data Analytics, Cloud, Mobility, Virtual Reality, and Artificial Intelligence.

Suggesting how cyber-attacks can be thwarted, Saravanan Theckyam, Head of Marketing, Broadcast & Communications at Tata Elxsi, says, “At Tata Elxsi, we are seeing an increased awareness on cybersecurity across the various industry verticals we work with. Every single industry vertical that we address – automotive, broadcast & media, telecommunications, and connected health – is increasing the level of security at every layer. Telecommunication companies are at the center of such transformation – rolling out services that cater to all the verticals above and face the largest threat and are most exposed to greater liabilities. Some example of services rolled out by telecommunication service providers includes connected and autonomous vehicles, fleet management, healthcare services for hospitals and consumers and OTT video solutions that need increased content security for the multi-screen applications. Challenges on such rollout include the exploding number of devices that increase the threat for attacks exponentially – we are talking about managing millions of connected devices today – to at least a few tens of billion devices in the near future. Not to mention the increased gateways for attacks and intrusion into personal information through these connected devices.”

“To address the challenges of building a secure future, we are recommending customers to establish an Advanced Security Center of Excellence (ASCoE) and build a holistic strategy catering to the security needs of such rapidly converging technologies.”

David Maciejak, Director of Security Research, Fortinet

Fortinet, which ships security appliances worldwide to more than 360,000 customers, recently identified crypto jacking as a new technique where cybercriminals sneak malware into computers and other media devices and then hijack the computer’s processing power to perform crypto-mining. The number of reported cases is rising and cybersecurity experts are warning individuals and businesses about the danger.

“Cryptojacking has become a growing concern. Cybercriminals aren’t satisfied with the available supply of vulnerable servers and PCs to hijack in order to mine their favorite cryptocurrency. So, they have added another rich source of computational horsepower to their arsenal—IoT devices,” warns David Maciejak, Director of Security Research, Fortinet.

“As our work and social networks expand and the potential threat footprint in our homes continues to grow, it is critical that we take a fresh look at how we could protect from growing number of networks we interact with. With the prevalence of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), work devices brought home are also subject to greater risk of cyber-attacks,” warns Maciejak.

Rahul Arora, Regional Director, India & SAARC, Skybox

California-headquartered Skybox provides a cybersecurity management platform to address security challenges within large, complex networks. Perceiving a huge demand for cybersecurity solutions in India, Skybox, last week, coinciding the cybersecurity awareness month, tied up with India’s RAH Infotech, a value-added distributor, to launch its products.

Rahul Arora, Regional Director, India & SAARC, Skybox, “The most successful enterprise is setting itself for failure if it’s not secure and today’s truth is that the biggest source of the threat is Cyber. The safest way for organizations to secure themselves from cyberattacks is to have total attack surface visibility, to be proactive against threats and contain cyber-attacks immediately. Skybox Security strives to give enterprises a complete attack-surface visibility and it combines one platform to solve many challenges, vulnerabilities, threats, firewalls, and compliance. The demand for advanced cybersecurity solutions in India has urged Skybox to tie-up with RAH Infotech. In collaboration, Skybox will launch cutting-edge cybersecurity technologies to help Indian enterprises to stay safe from cyber threats.”


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