The significance of cybersecurity in India: Vishal Salvi, Infosys

The approach towards cybersecurity across the world has taken a paradigm shift owing to the proliferation of data in recent times, and the ushering in of new-age solutions. In an interview with DataQuest, Vishal Salvi, Chief Information Security Officer and Senior Vice President, Infosys talks about the cybersecurity scenario in India, role played by artificial intelligence in the same, and what Infosys has to offer in the field of cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the backbone of any industry. Is it being given that importance by companies in India?

Cyber-attacks have become a regular phenomenon today and the issue is a growing challenge. New threats are emerging every day with a potential cost to the economy that cannot be fathomed. It’s not surprising that organizations are taking cybersecurity seriously, with a large portion of their budget going into implementing measures to fight cyber-attacks. Therefore, we can say that Cybersecurity has become mainstream and safeguarding your enterprise from rapidly evolving cyber threats can no more take a backseat. It is imperative for enterprises today to defend themselves against the sophisticated threat environment. The Board has also realized the significance of cybersecurity and is taking a keen interest in the what and how of the cybersecurity strategy program. This is happening not just globally but also in India. More and more organizations are setting up and strengthening their approach towards cybersecurity.

Yes. Enterprises have been able to gather, store and process data available in their business environment and to also use it for business purposes using big data analytics with reasonable success rates. This has made them realize that big data across their business environment is a valuable asset and needs to be well protected. Data protection has become one of the top agenda for enterprises to remain competitive and profitable in their respective businesses. As a consequence, several regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), etc. are gaining importance. It is becoming important in the Indian context too, with more power being granted to the citizens in terms of control to data. The telecom and financial sectors, the two highly regulated industries until recently, have taken a lead in establishing strong data security initiatives in India. Industries with global customers such as ITES have been early adopters of data protection and privacy controls and therefore extremely mature in these areas.

What role does artificial intelligence play in cybersecurity?

Today organizations are training AI systems to detect malware and other threats with the help of datasets that include algorithms and codes. Using such datasets, trained AI can perform pattern recognition that helps identify malicious behavior and activity. Playbook based AI systems can preemptively isolate such malicious activity to gain a further foothold and can be further trained to analyze indicators/behaviors of ransomware attacks before it encrypts a system. Furthermore, AI systems can be leveraged for predictive analytics for faster detection and the learnings can be recorded for future detection and rapid response. Cybersecurity is all about correlation and predictive analytics where artificial intelligence and machine learning can be applied.

Hackers are using the same artificial intelligence to carry out attacks. How can companies stay ahead of them?

This is a serious problem of having a hacker using the AI techniques to test their own malware and even attempt to AI-proof the malware strains. Considering this risk, one can only imagine how destructive AI-proof malware could be. Using the same principles, hackers can develop their own AI system that can outsmart AI-powered cybersecurity systems. Such systems can learn from the existing AI systems and lead to even more advanced cyber-attacks.  But still, AI has a long way to go before it becomes a de-facto option. Until then, using AI for cybersecurity along with the traditional techniques is what is recommended along with some of the best practices including incorporating a robust security framework, regular vulnerability assessment, and remediation, creating an organization-wide security mindset and culture, constant training and awareness both to the employees and partners.

What does Infosys have to offer in the field of cybersecurity?

Infosys Cyber Security practice is powered by tools, methodologies, frameworks and highly trained people. We are committed to helping solve challenges related to cybersecurity for our customers. We continue to invest in and build more capabilities to strengthen our talent base, enabling your business to scale with assurance. By driving an enterprise mindset towards secure-by-design at every stage of the business lifecycle, we minimize security risks while maximizing the visibility of the security threat, impact and resolution. We also optimize cost and amplify reach while making you secure by scale, ensuring that our focus on innovating next-gen threat protection solutions in newer technologies will secure your business’s future.

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