Significance of cybersecurity will be more pronounced with 5G, Web 3.0, Metaverse, etc.: Coforge

Although the particular concepts underlying the metaverse are a little vague, privacy and security issues have surfaced.
There are a lot of theories about how it will affect cybersecurity and what the main security problems are that need to be addressed right away.

Coforge is a global digital services and solutions provider, that leverages emerging technologies and deep domain expertise to deliver real-world business impact for its clients.

A focus on select industries, a detailed understanding of the underlying processes of those industries and partnerships with leading platforms provides us a distinct perspective. Coforge leads with its product engineering approach and leverages cloud, data, integration and automation technologies, to transform client businesses into intelligent, high growth enterprises.

Dr. Jitendra Mohan Bhardwaj, CIO & CISO, Coforge, tells us more. Excerpts from an interview:

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Aanchal Ghatak | DATAQUEST

DQ: How has the pandemic impacted the cyber security landscape in India?

Dr. Jitendra Mohan Bhardwaj: The landscape of cyber security has evolved to a new level due to the pandemic, especially with remote working. This has exposed organizations to more vulnerabilities than before, and the attacks have not only increased in size and scale but also in sophistication. Further, with digitalisation and the growth in the number of users, devices, and systems within the modern business ecosystem, cyber security has become a top priority.

The growth of cyber threats has outpaced our ability to effectively prevent and manage them. According to data from CERT-In, cyberattacks rose by almost 300 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. The use of malware increased by 358% in 2021, while the use of ransomware rose by 435%. Companies across the globe are setting aside huge investments and budgets for the best technologies available to keep them and their customers cyber safe. The overall cybersecurity industry is growing at a CAGR of 21 percent and is expected to hit over $13.6 billion by 2025.

DQ: How would emerging technologies like 5G, web 3.0, metaverse, etc., impact the cyber security landscape?

Dr. Jitendra Mohan Bhardwaj: With the advent of 5G, Web 3.0, metaverse, etc., the significance of cybersecurity will be more pronounced than ever. These advanced technologies will shift the physical infrastructure layers to cloud-based platforms and networks, thereby, making it more vulnerable. It is expected that the industry would witness sophisticated attacks such as Gen V and Gen VI. Therefore, to safeguard from threats, it will be imperative for the industry to deploy a prevention-based response system rather than an incident-driven response system.

While Web 3.0 is focused on addressing issues affecting the Web 2.0 infrastructure, there might be a few challenges regarding existing user data and its ownership. And in the metaverse, that operates through avatars, in a virtual world, there is no specific way to identify cybercriminals. Also, there are no legal and regulatory frameworks for Metaverse and Web 3.0 implementations as of now and no individual or corporation can be provided with any legal protection when it comes to cybercrimes linked to these technologies.

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Last, but not least, it is worth highlighting that technology companies with academic and other ecosystem players across the globe are investing heavily towards R&D of all possible cyber security technologies and tools.Bottom of Form

DQ: How is Coforge securing enterprise assets in its key verticals, including insurance, BFS, TTH, etc.?

Dr. Jitendra Mohan Bhardwaj: Coforge is offering multiple solutions and services to companies across the globe. Some of the solutions are as follows:

  • Security risk assessment: This provides end to end holistic view of the security posture, vulnerabilities, and compliances
  • Zero trust network access: Secures workloads in a multifaceted access environment
  • Endpoint security: Provides protection from unauthorized access, ransomware, and phishing attacks
  • Cognitive actionable intelligence: Offers predictive threat intelligence, hunting, and proactive risk mitigation.
  • Real-time monitoring: Threat monitoring in real-time across the desired landscape and providing an analysis on the current security status

DQ: What are some of the best practices for a safe digital environment?

Dr. Jitendra Mohan Bhardwaj: Some of the best practices an organization can follow for a safe digital environment are as follows:

  • Form a hierarchical cybersecurity policy – Thisserves as a centralized formal guide on all best practices for cybersecurity and security measures used in the company and allows the security specialists and employees to be on the same page regarding data protection.
  • Use reliable antivirus software– The internet is full of different kinds of threats and viruses. Worms, trojans, ransomware, and other potentially unwanted programs are some of the most common that can be blocked with an effective antivirus software package. These packages do a great job at protecting users whilst browsing the internet, but they do not provide full protection from cyber threats.
  • Back-up your data – Possibly the easiest precaution to ensure that valuable files are not lost in the event of a security breach or software/hardware failure.
  • Password Protection – Each password needs to be unique, complex, and periodically switched. For a company, the best way to go about changing passwords is to automate it for the whole company every 3 to 6 months.
  • Being cautious while using Wi-Fi networks– Prohibit your personal or company devices from being connected to any unsafe public wi-fi networks to avoid spreading malicious and harmful malware threats. If a company has a high number of visitors and guests, providing a guest Wi-Fi network can help in keeping visitors away from the main network

DQ: Please share some case studies of Coforge in the cyber security space?

Dr. Jitendra Mohan Bhardwaj: Coforge has carried out cyber security transformation for a global cement manufacturing client. One of the largest and oldest cement and building material companies in Thailand and Southeast Asia collaborated with Coforge to implement advanced security technologies in order to gain more insights about the looming threats and have defense mechanisms in place to protect the IT infrastructure from new emerging threats.

With a customer-focused approach, Coforge was able to design and implement a solution catering to the customer’s needs. Coforge established a 24x7x365 security operations center with the implementation of SIEM solution using Coforge’s SIMP framework and integrated threat intelligence services to provide behavior-based advanced threat detection capabilities and on-demand threat-hunting services. The customer was also assisted in aligning security frameworks and policies for a smooth transition and ongoing operations.

Coforge performed asset discovery exercises and asset categorization across the customer’s environment, according to criticality. Coforge conducted NIST assessment and compliance assessment in accordance with ISO 27001 and local data protection laws; identified gaps and provided a detailed report to the customer with suggested remediations. The customer accordingly implemented a robust Threat and Vulnerability Management program using Coforge’s Master framework.

The result of the exercise was that the client was provided with a single pane of view showcasing security posture and end-to-end visibility of the assets. There was also an improvement of 60% in user awareness because of a security training program based on Coforge’s PAT service.

Another case study is of transforming SOC Services for UAE’s Largest Airline. The company collaborated with Coforge for 24x7x365 SOC services in a dedicated delivery model.

Partnering with the customer, Coforge successfully helped in transforming the security operations for the customer and facilitated the implementation of key initiatives to improve the audit and compliance ratings. After understanding the customer environment, policies, and processes, Coforge identified various challenges in the customer environment and helped them in implementing key security initiatives with a view to addressing those challenges.

Coforge also helped the customer in implementing the technologies to automate repeatable processes and standardizing its environment by driving initiatives with an aim to bring uniformity in the tool landscape and enhance security.

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