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Cybersecurity: One Of The Biggest Assets During A Crisis

The world started taking cybersecurity seriously post 2010 when a new worm of cyberattacks destroyed businesses and governments.

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Back in the 2000s, when digital transformation started becoming a reality, cybersecurity was a major crisis. Starting from the popular Melissa virus which caused $80 million in damages to the most devastating Distributed Denial of Services (DdoS) attack which crippled the Internet in 2002, cyberattacks were causing mayhem. Businesses were grappling with managing their digital transformation journey, and were least bothered with cybersecurity. The world started taking cybersecurity seriously post 2010 when a new worm of cyberattacks destroyed businesses and governments. Whether that be Stuxnet, Operation Aurora or the ‘Press Release hackers’, the world of cyber was a major crisis. Being cyber-resilient soon became pivotal and a strategic advantage rather than a cost head.

Sitting in 2020, businesses flaunt their cyber-resiliency to attract customers. For example, DBS Bank markets itself as ‘the Asia’s safest bank’. Similarly, the world’s most sophisticated payment system - Unified Payment Interface (UPI) is also one of the most secure modes of payment with three layers of security. Even though cybersecurity budgets have increased, are we 100% secure? The answer is no.

Even after spending considerably in cybersecurity, JW Marriott disclosed two major data breaches within a span of three years. According to total cyber claims received by AIG EMEA in 2018, 4% of it came from the hospitality and leisure industry.

So why invest in cybersecurity at all if you continue to get hacked?

Consider cybersecurity an asset, especially during crisis 2020, the beginning of a new decade is clouded by a global pandemic which has brought major economies to its knees. While the world is struggling to deal with this crisis, hackers have found an opportunity to prevail. As employees across the globe adopt a new way of working from home, it opens new doors for hackers. As per latest cybersecurity research data, cyberattacks are up 37% over the past month as #COVID19 continues to spread. According to Cloudflare data, hacking and phishing attempts were up 37% month-on-month.

But not all is lost. We have seen businesses steadily continue operations without worrying about cybersecurity. We have seen employees of various customers confidently conduct business over video calls. The advantage these businesses have is being cyber-resilient. Cybersecurity is not a layer of defense anymore, but a strategic doorway to profitability.

Organizations which adopted a proactive, real-time, unified and a measurable approach to cybersecurity are well prepared to identify and defend the growing sophistication of cyberattacks. The last thing a business wants during this pandemic is a cyber-breach. Cyberattacks have the capability to not only disrupt businesses, but also have a direct impact on the topline and bottom-line. We have seen that with the devaluation of Yahoo during its buyout.

That brings us to the question - what can organizations do to thwart off cyberatttacks?

Measure and mitigate in real-time through Cyber Risk Quantification platforms

Last year, while speaking to a CISO of a leading Indian bank, the topmost concern of the CISO was the lack of a trustable and a simple view into the cyber risk posture of his organization. For a long time, cyber-risk has been defined by a 300 page report and vulnerability assessment, but that is not enough anymore. In this ever evolving cybersecurity landscape and growing sophistication of hacks, senior leadership of organizations need a real-time, measurable, enterprise wide and simple view into the risk-posture through SaaS platforms. You cannot have cybersecurity assessments done once a quarter. Cybersecurity has to be real-time and quantifiable. Remember, a hacker needs a single vulnerability to cause havoc, but the detection system has to be functioning all the time to be able to track and mitigate ongoing attempts of cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity is not just a business issue, but a people issue too and this is extremely relevant during times of crisis. Often, businesses invest in ensuring their technology is secure, but ignore the people related challenges. According to various industry reports, more than 90% of cyber breaches have a people element to it. So it is extremely important to be able to quantify cyber risk posed by your employees.

To conclude, hackers need a single door to infiltrate, whereas cybersecurity professionals have to protect every door to thwart criminals. As Tim Cook had once said - If you put a key under the mat for the cops, a burglar can find it, too. Criminals are using every technology tool at their disposal to hack into people’s accounts. If they know there’s a key hidden somewhere, they won’t stop until they find it. This is why cybersecurity needs quantification and needs it now!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Tags assigned to this article:
cyber security COVID-19

Vidit Baxi

Co-founder, Lucideus

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