A New Perspective to Cyber Security

In conversation with Rajesh Dhuddu, Blockchain & Cybersecurity Practice Leader, Tech Mahindra | Monday, 21 September 2020, 05:47 IST

Rajesh DhudduPlease give us an overview on the cybersecurity landscape and the possible threats.

COVID-19 induced work from home has resulted in security concerns given that surface of attacks has increased, exposing businesses to cyber threats. This has placed large enterprises, small and midsize business (SMBs) under huge pressure as corporate networks/ perimeters are under siege. Added to this, cyber attackers are using various tools including remote administration tools, exploit kits, among others through spoofed websites and phishing attacks focusing on COVID-19 related news. To up their game, the attackers are now using advanced languages to deploy their attacks and are increasingly adopting cloud services that can help them go undetected. Also, cyber attackers are increasingly targeting centralized infrastructures that have a single point of failure.

The most daunting aspect of a successful cyber-attack is that it has a dwell time higher than 100+ days, meaning the cyber attacker enters a corporate network and waits for an opportunistic time to deploy the cyberattack. Many SMBs and some enterprises do not even have a robust multi-factor authentication which, if deployed, can address majority of cyber comprises in the corporate network. Under the current circumstances of the pandemic spread, even small losses of productivity will be a double whammy. Hence, a resilient and efficient security ecosystem is the need of the hour. Organizations need to be careful and be fully prepared for any possible attack on home IT networks by monitoring signs of malicious behaviour, safeguarding sensitive data and assuring maximum compliance with privacy and regulatory requirements.

What importance does cybersecurity hold during this pandemic situation of Coronavirus?

With the pandemic disrupting the socio-economic systems of the world, there is another threat rising due to our increased reliance on digital tools – the risk of cyberattacks and threats. Corporates and SMBs are already stretching their security infrastructure on account of significant advent in remote working. Without further hardening of security infra, there are many vulnerabilities that facilitate opportunistic entry of attackers. Hence, the onus to secure corporate networks is not only contingent on information security teams / groups of the company but also on their respective employees.

Therefore, organizations must invest in the vital infrastructure, collaboration and monitoring tools in order to ensure that the scale and security of the digital ecosystem is not compromised. Similarly, employees should maintain good password hygiene, segregate office and personal access devices and use office devices strictly for office work only. Even citizens need to be very vigilant and exercise utmost caution and download apps only from secured sites (secure sites begin with https://), and pay full attention to websites, their spellings, their look in totality and feel. Now, there are numerous fake applications out there in the name of the pandemic, which users download without knowing. Therefore, cyber security is a necessity now, more than ever.

Why cyber security needs to be valued?

As the new normal of remote working sets in, businesses are realigning their strategies to have a robust security infrastructure for secure networks. Today, organizations have substantial assets and value manifested in digital form. Even the government bodies are disseminating information digitally, putting the whole world on digital. Therefore, the value of cyber-security has become undeniable.

A closer look at the sources of cyber-attacks reveals that a significant portion of security breaches are now indirect, as threat actors target weaker links in the supply-chain or business ecosystem. Spoofed websites pertaining to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working for COVID-19 related welfare and phishing attacks focusing on COVID-19 related news are increasingly being used by the cyber attackers to penetrate into networks.  Cybersecurity is becoming an important discussion point at board meetings because it has been resulting in damages on account of loss of reputation and loss of productivity. It is imperative that we create cyber resilient businesses which bring together the capabilities of cyber security, business continuity and enterprise resilience in order to become fit for the future.

Tech Mahindra’s expertise in the cybersecurity market – your key partnerships and business growth you foresee in this space?

With around two decades of domain experience, Tech Mahindra’s Enterprise Security and Risk Management Services team is a trusted advisor – consultant, systems integrator and program project manager. We are  working closely with organizations as well as the governments globally, to safeguard critical applications by deploying Global Security Operations Centre (GSOC) operations that provide highly trained resources who have been providing cyber defense with best in class resilience and remedial measures. Tech Mahindra’s continuous security platform protects any application, patched or unpatched, across the full application stack from file, which gives less threats to binary memory-based attacks. It stops threats in real-time, delivering unprecedented accuracy without false positives.

Some of the innovations of Tech Mahindra services include identifying Zero-day attacks and using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities to identify machine vulnerabilities that are perceptible immediately and easily to Security Operations Centre (SOC) analysts.

Furthermore, Tech Mahindra is leveraging cloud security trends by providing security solutions that are essential and required over and above native security controls.  We are also betting big on zero trust security, containerization and micro segmentation related security services and have launched a program called 'Most Admired Cybersecurity Enterprise' (MACE) that provides Outside In and Inside out security posture of a company on freemium basis. Additionally, our recent partnerships with organizations like Lucideus, Cyqurex, Virsec, and others are helping us offer end-to-end comprehensive solutions for our customers.

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