With the world rushing on to digital platforms, cybersecurity is fast emerging as a key area of concern for enterprises, given the ever-increasing challenges of cyberattacks. According to the National Cyber Security Coordinator, cyberattacks in India grew manyfold in 2020, with 400,000 malware cases and 375 cyberattack hits every day.

Industry reports suggest that, going forward, the landscape of targeted attacks will witness significant changes along with the attack vectors. While companies are thwarting attacks from every sphere, they are also focusing on new measures to align IT and new technologies with businesses. To this end, cyber-resiliency functions such as data protection and response and recovery planning are expected to improve by 2021 vis-à-vis their cybersecurity maturity levels.

In addition, the Covid-19-induced remote working scenario has led to a myriad security challenges, adding to the stress of enterprises. A look at the cybersecurity solutions being deployed by enterprises…

Emerging technology solutions

  • Intrusion prevention system (IPS): An IPS identifies suspicious activities and prevents them from attacking device networks. This technology solution monitors activities, captures information and reports them to network administrators. If a malware is detected, the IPS initiates preventive steps to block employees or guests on the network from engaging in harmful behaviour.
  • Secure web gateway: A secure web gateway acts as a checkpoint that prevents unauthorised traffic from entering an organisation’s network. By examining all incoming and outgoing data in the network, it creates a barrier against malicious traffic. Furthermore, sophisticated, secure web gateways can prevent data exfiltration.
  • Authentication of hardware devices: The authentication of hardware enhances operational security. This can be particularly important for internet of things (IoT) devices. Through authentication, secure access can be provided to any IoT-enabled device trying to connect to another. It also enables the identification of the correct device to be connected. For instance, Intel is focused on providing authentication solutions in its upcoming processors. To this end, Intel has dedicated a portion of the chipset to security functions.
  • User behaviour analytics: With the help of blockchain technology, user behaviour analytics (UBA) identifies the blind spots in an enterprise’s security. It helps the enterprise in differentiating between the activity of a legitimate user and that of an attacker by comparing a user’s present and past behaviours. It also studies the behavioural pattern of operational activities in the same department through peer analysis, and triggers a red flag in case of any vulnerability or suspicion.
  • Deep learning: Deep learning, similar to UBA, focuses on anomalous behaviour. It encompasses a number of technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Through this solution, enterprises can understand where malicious behaviour deviates from legitimate behaviour in terms of security.
  • Prevention of data loss: With the increasing threat of data breaches, enterprises across sectors are focusing on securing their data. To this end, they are deploying technology solutions such as encryption and tokenisation, which protect data down to the field and subfield levels.

These tools also help in secure movement of data across the extended enterprise, thus reducing exposure and risk.

Preparing for the new world

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, cybersecurity is gaining even greater attention from enterprises. In a recent advisory, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team highlighted that cybercriminals were taking advantage of the “new normal” brought about by the pandemic to lure internet users and steal sensitive data and information. To this end, cybersecurity leaders are redesigning their plans and adopting innovative approaches to effectively counter the new threats that have surfaced. Companies are increasing their focus on balancing digitalisation with security, and educating employees and vendors on best practices to follow in order to secure their respective systems from any potential breach.

The way forward

As companies increase the deployment of emerging technology solutions, the need for proper cybersecurity solutions will become more apparent. As per the Data Security Council of India, there has been an uptick in cybersecurity patent filing and grants in the country, which is indicative of its growing innovation ecosystem. Furthermore, the Covid-induced digitalisation is expected to accelerate investment in the Indian cybersecurity space.

By Shikha Swaroop