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Cyber Everywhere: Grow Anywhere

While the threat looms larger with new technologies on the horizon, one cannot ignore how these technologies have been reinventing the way we live and for the better.

Cyber is everywhere. Cyber has embedded itself in every part of an individual’s life and society as a whole- from devices such as mobile, smartwatches, assisted voice help service units to uniquely customised customer experience provided by enterprises in digital retail that makes cyber omnipresent. While that is true at one end, one will also have to discuss the future of cybersecurity by taking into account the emerging trends in technology and the related cyber threat vectors that arise due to these advancements.

How has cyber evolved in the past five years?

Cybersecurity attacks used to be far lesser and lower in volume and scale. However, times have changed and with the evolution through the years, attackers now launch more sophisticated attacks, covering a wider net (devices connected on single servers and connected devices through IoT and on Cloud). Cybersecurity management, which once used to be in the custody of IT professionals and technical support providers and not dependent on user needs them to be owners now. Earlier, users were not expected to be aware of risk prevention and mitigation. But with the amount of data that is now available at the tip of the fingers, users have to, and many of them have, become cognizant about how and where their data is being used. While the threat looms larger with new technologies on the horizon, one cannot ignore how these technologies have been reinventing the way we live, and for the better.

Trends to watch out for in 2020

Following are the few technology trends everyone must look out for in the upcoming year:

  1. Big Data: As the pervasiveness and volume of data is ever on an increase (due to the increase in the number of devices), data analytics and systematic and quick extraction of useful insights from the available data helps businesses have a competitive advantage. While enterprises may be able to leverage this information for marketing campaigns and driving business, the same information is vulnerable to being hacked by cybercriminals. As more and more data is coming online, it is difficult to govern the data and uphold the intent to maintain the privacy of the individuals or entities involved. Data should be the responsibility of everyone. When employing big data analytics, one must ensure that the goal and purpose is definite and adheres to consensual extraction and analysis.
  2. Future of Work: The transformation in the sector of technology is compelling organisations to rethink their cybersecurity talent structure. Automation of business and IT processes are leading to change in the traditional roles of security professionals. Thus, the present business ecosystem will have to undergo a transformation where talent and technology can work symbiotically.
  3. Internet of Things: IoT renders organisations and individuals with the advantage of convenience and ease, whether it is related to industrial processes, or just with connected smart devices for home appliance. With 5G on the horizon, smart devices and machines will work with lower latency and faster speed. While the benefits of IoT are an underscored conclusion, the threat surface is also larger as the network of connected devices increases, thus, leading to greater consequences. Organisations will have to up the ante of maintaining perimeter security in order to reap the benefits of IoT with mitigated risks.
  4. Storage will be the Supreme Datacentre: Over the last few years, we have seen an evolution in virtual servers to cloud-based technology for storing data. In the coming year, we are seeing many organisations adopting a multi-cloud strategy to better suit their needs. The designing of such a strategy would be different for different organisations, based on how they plan to link their legacy-technology, on-premise hardware, applications and servers, to the newer package of services provided by the cloud storage providers. One of the risks that cannot be ignored is the vulnerability arising out of connecting with third-party vendors and a probable compromise of an organisation’s already existing IT and security infrastructure. Nevertheless, a multi-cloud strategy provides flexibility for data management and scalability of storage based upon IT demands.

Organisations must now introduce innovation – and solution-oriented approach proactively instead of a reactive and remediating approach to tackle threats and hacks

— Shree Parthasarathy, Partner& Cyber Risk Services Leader, Deloitte India

Shree Parthasarathy, Partner& Cyber Risk Services Leader, Deloitte India 

Shree Parthasarathy, Partner& Cyber Risk Services Leader, Deloitte India

Technological improvements in diverse fields

  • Improved healthcare: Telemedicine, smart wearables, personalized medication, enhanced research and development in genome studies, have all come together to contribute towards improved healthcare.
  • Digital payments: With payments bank and fintech organisations on the rise, that provides safe transactions over the internet, it has become extremely convenient for users to transfer and receive money on the go.
  • Manage data: Technology has made data saving and retrieval faster. Scores of information can be put upon Cloud and accessed easily. This has reduced the need for maintaining manual storage.
  • Augmented reality: Augmented reality (AR) finds uses in various ways- from providing military training, medical training and classroom education, to retail, architectural design modelling, advertising and entertainment.
  • Smart cities: Governments are adopting various technologies to digitize key public services such as identification processes. They are also improving the base foundation of critical infrastructure by digitally transforming it, which leads to better utilization of resources at minimised costs.

Final Remarks

At one end, technology and data volume continues to penetrate deeper into business and at the other end, newer technologies are getting embraced and adopted by attackers faster than organisations can catch up. The business strategy thus needs to have a clear charter of

introducing cyber risk as a core strength right at the start of the business cycle. Deep within, India needs to bring in a testing mechanism to a business strategy that enables them to find more ways of finding possible solutions to the problems that may possibly occur. Changing times needs changing ways of leveraging technology to predict, prevent and position technology as a business enabler for growth!

By Shree Parthasarathy, Partner& Cyber Risk Services Leader, Deloitte India 

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