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Cybersecurity: Best defence is a good offence

S Mohini Ratna

India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. To seize growth opportunities and sustain success under shifting global business conditions in this promising economy that is witnessing a dynamic shift in the IT landscape almost every other day, companies need executives who are exceptional leaders in the field of IT. As a result of this, devices, data and applications are also changing rapidly. 

However, technologies in the security landscape don't change as fast and security professionals risk being obsolete unless they adapt and update themselves as well.

Digital mediums are likely to surpass traditional ones by 2021-22, when smartphone and broadband penetration increases in the country. In this ever-changing scenario, the one thing that has remained common through the life cycle of this industry is the human interaction. It is us humans who have been using technology starting from the simple DOS systems to today's high-end systems. The human interaction with IT and the active usage of data by humans are the most vulnerable points when it comes to cyber-threats and need maximum security.

The vast and ever-changing threat landscape, coupled with the challenge of improving the security habits of customers, has provided fraudsters with ever more points of vulnerability to exploit. It is high time for the banks to admit that they have to invest in improving their IT security regardless of the return-on-investment, in order to meet the growing demands of government regulators, top management and even their customers. Despite banks putting serious efforts and budgets into safeguarding their perimeters against known and unknown cyber-threats, protecting the breadth of IT infrastructure that now exists – from traditional to specialized, ATMs and Point-of-Sale terminals – has proved difficult. 

Technology is actually a part of the problem as well as a part of the solution, primarily because we tend to look at everything from a technological perspective. Thanks to newer technologies, a variety of devices are being allowed access to our systems. These devices can be hacked and prove to be malicious, a fact that more companies need to focus upon.

In a recently-held mega conclave on cybersecurity in New Delhi, organized by VARINDIA, where the Home, Law and IT Ministers, judiciary officials, senior cops from the police department, cybersecurity consultants and corporates participated, emphasis was laid on how awareness regarding cyber-attacks needs to be spread across the country. This is actually the best time for strengthening cybersecurity in India, mostly because the government is finally talking about it, and there is increasing awareness too. Users are now more aware of the things that can go wrong.

Lastly, spreading the right knowledge is half the work done, while the other half is about solving these issues.

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