Cybersecurity has emerged as one of the biggest challenges for companies the world over in the last few months. The overnight transition to working from home from the secured environs of workplaces, because of the Covid-19 pandemic since March, has resulted in companies seeing a significant rise in cybersecurity challenges.
The pandemic has brought cybersecurity to the fore as companies, or anyone for that matter, had not foreseen a situation where the workforce would be working from dozens of different locations, and that too for an extended period. It is not surprising that many companies were not prepared for this kind of transition, and the cybersecurity challenges that it would lead to.
The digital landscape is far wider, and digital assets less secure than before, leading to newer complexities in cybersecurity management. Secure access, data privacy, data security, protection against malware, and cloud security have emerged as the top cybersecurity challenges before companies.
Cyber attackers have been working overtime in their efforts to exploit the security loopholes within vulnerable remote networks. Reports of hackers targeting top global companies, including technology giants and those engaged in developing Coronavirus vaccines, suggest that cyber attackers have been successful in multiple cases.
What we are also seeing is most companies are factoring in the risk of loss of operations in the event of a major cyberattack, and the growing realization about the need to build strategies accordingly, and to have robust cybersecurity systems.
Cybersecurity has emerged as a top priority for corporates, and a majority of them are increasing their funding in this direction. The good thing is that rather than looking at this as an expenditure, companies are seeing this as an investment, just like for any other measure to safeguard their business and assets.
Selecting a cybersecurity services provider is not an easy decision, but companies must keep three criteria in mind while making a decision about the same. The first is whether the security service provider is integrated enough to protect data, the second whether it is agile to respond to new threats and foreseeing challenges, and the third its ability to communicate to all stakeholders when required. The security services providers become the partners to organization growth and have to act like that.
These aspects assume importance in the light of the most of governments and corporates are looking to shift their operations and overhauling the complete global supply chain.
Even the emerging markets like India there is a rapid digitalization is taking place in manufacturing with the adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), smart machines, artificial thinking, remote monitoring, etc.
Agriculture produce and supply chains are also getting digitized with the government launching Electronic National Agriculture Market (eNAM), while the service industry is seeing the emergence of edu-tech, health-tech, and fin-tech start-ups and adopting of technology for almost all processes.
In short, digitization is the order of the day for the companies to be more agile.
Recently the Indian government announced Atmarnirbhar Bharat where foreign companies are incentivized to set up the manufacturing and partnered with Indian companies for economic growth. Data security and safety of digital assets would be among the critical prerequisites for the success of such programs. One cannot expect a foreign company to invest in India or to source from India if it is not confident about the security of its data and its digital assets. Companies will require to put in place adequate safeguards by way of robust cybersecurity mechanisms to develop a certain trust level.
Cybersecurity challenges are here to stay and are only likely to become more severe going ahead, but being prepared to face the challenges is what companies can and must do. Most devastating viruses are invisible and unknown, so the mechanism to guard against this unknown, unseen enemy and threats from it requires intuition, experience, commitment, and determined efforts with a perfect synchronization of people processes and technology.
By Jaydeep Ruparelia, Director, Co-founder and CEO, Infopercept Consulting