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Why India Needs To Augment Its Cybersecurity Stack In The Post-COVID Era

With most companies enabling a digital work-from-home policy for their employees, the risk of cyberattacks and security breaches have also multiplied considerably.

2020 has proven to be a testing year for businesses globally. The coronavirus pandemic has substantially disrupted businesses far and wide. Companies around the world have been forced to realign their operations to adapt to unprecedented times. Due to the numerous restrictions and lockdowns imposed around the globe, the entire world is in the process of shifting towards a new normal. Under such challenging times, the industry is fast transitioning towards remote working. With most companies enabling a digital work-from-home policy for their employees, the risk of cyberattacks and security breaches have also multiplied considerably.   

India Inc still suffers from an inadequate cyber solutions framework due to various shortcomings in the overall tech landscape. It has been approximated that the country would need around one million cyber professionals by 2020, as opposed to the current depleted workforce of 100,000. With such a substantial deficit in the country’s existing cybersecurity infrastructure and human resources, Indian companies are under an increasing danger of losing millions of dollars’ worth of essential data assets due to their underwhelming cyber defences. A survey by Xpheno revealed that though India has about 67,000 job openings in the cybersecurity field, a severe shortage of adept cyber professionals and proper cyber training methodologies has left a gaping hole in the overarching system.  

The threat of cyberattacks has vastly increased due to the low levels of cybersecurity tools deployed in remote working environments. Employees working from the confines of their homes generally have an insufficient firewall and anti-virus capacities that can be easily exploited by cyber miscreants. The country is in a dire need of an immediate government-driven cyber-security empowerment initiative at a pan-industry scale to safeguard its businesses. 

The pandemic due to its unique and unpredictable trajectory has left businesses even more vulnerable. With phenomenal advancements in the field of technology, it is only natural that hackers and cybercriminals are also growing more adroit in terms of utilizing digital tools, new-age resources, and innovation. A strong and holistic cybersecurity policy that can extend the necessary skill and tech-expertise to professionals towards developing a well-fortified and powerful defensive stack is an urgent need of the hour. 

As the dynamic fundamentals of cybersecurity sciences cannot be imbibed in traditional classroom environments, the government along with associated stakeholders should oversee the establishment of word-class tech academies and skilling facilities for accelerating the same. Cybersecurity is best learned in a real-time experiential setting where professionals can observe the various intricacies of cyber defence in a true corporate climate.  

By utilizing actual commercially available tools and cutting-edge simulations in a real-world setting, techies can grasp the true essence of optimum cybersecurity and defensive solutions such as SIEMs, advanced firewalls, EPP, etc. Through the first-hand experience in the vast surfeit of cyberattacks that strike corporate industries on a daily basis, cybersecurity professionals can equip themselves with the necessary expertise for neutralizing such threats. 

Studies reveal that phishing e-mails and cybersecurity breaches in the corporate ecosystem have surged by a staggering 260% since the onset of the novel coronavirus disruption. The remote-working environment in a post-COVID era that features relatively decreased cybersecurity protection has provided cyber masterminds with surplus incentives in breaching corporate defences. Add to that the general apprehension and uncertainty permeating industries across the country. These considerable transformations in the Indian business vista induced in the wake of the virus are being massively leveraged by hackers and cyber fiends towards realizing their nefarious intentions.  

Spear phishing, website impersonations, ransomware and malware attacks, malicious bots, network and web attacks, crypto miners, data breaches, online fraud donation portals have significantly jumped since the advent of COVID-19. So much so, that India has emerged as the third most vulnerable country to cyberattacks after US and China. The pandemic has been a great eye-opener in illustrating the various limitations of the existent cybersecurity infrastructure in the country. It is highly imperative that companies invest sufficiently in augmenting their cyber defensive frameworks by adding extra layers of security. Only an experience-based hands-on training methodology that optimizes real-world simulations can develop a robust and effective cybersecurity architecture stack in the country.        

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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cybersecurity Post-COVID era

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