As The Cyber Security Month Comes To An End, This Is What The Experts Are Saying On The Issue


A recent study by IBM and Ponemon Research Institute also stated that Indian firms lost a whopping Rs 17.6 crore on average in the financial year 2021-22 to data breaches, a 25 percent increase from Rs 14 crore in FY20, and up 6.6 percent from Rs 16.5 crore in FY21.

A total of 52,974 cases of cyber crimes were reported in India in 2021 – and according to a recent study by IBM and Ponemon Research Institute, Indian firms lost a whopping Rs 17.6 crore on average in the financial year 2021-22 to data breaches. This was a 25 percent increase from Rs 14 crore in FY20, and up 6.6 percent from Rs 16.5 crore in FY21.

In a scenario like this, while it is important to protect oneself at an individual level, it also becomes inevitably crucial for enterprises and governments to take certain preventive and cautionary steps.

“Today if we look at the threat landscape, over 30 percent attacks are through phishing, social engineering, ransomware etc., unless people are sensitised about cyberattacks, it will be difficult to control these just through technology and tools. This greater awareness then allows for greater protection against common threats as it empowers consumers to better identify phishing attempts, avoid smishing, and understand what confidential information is, what can be shared vs cannot be shared and how to secure it,” says Ramesh Jampula, Vice President, IT, India and APJC Regional CIO, Dell Technologies.

Jampula added that in today’s hybrid work environment, perimeters are distributed across multi-cloud and edge with massive amounts of data constantly flowing. If these environments are not properly secured, it might result in an abundance of attack surfaces and vulnerabilities prime for exploitation. As industries go more hybrid and digital, data and workloads become high-value targets for more sophisticated cyberattacks.

Mudit Gupta, Chief Information Security Officer, Polygon believes that emerging technologies like web 3.0 have made the internet more decentralised and have raised more cybersecurity issues than ever. “India has been an early proponent of web 3.0 in terms of adoption with the potential of becoming a leader in the emerging economy as well. While organisations across sectors embrace the power of web 3.0, there are also concerns over security and privacy due to the decentralised nature of blockchains and applications built on them. As a result, this model calls for a more agile and robust security infrastructure,” he added.

Gupta also said that Polygon leverages the most powerful features of the blockchain to safeguard users’ legitimacy over their assets, data, and privacy. The company has also been investing significant effort and resources into creating an ecosystem of security expert partners, with the goal of improving the security and robustness of all Polygon solutions and protocols. 

According to Jampula, Dell Technologies has also partnered with CySecK, Karnataka Government’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) for cybersecurity to strengthen cyber-security in Karnataka. He said that the partnership is driven towards building a safe and secure digital environment for students, startups, the government, and other stakeholders in the state.

Manojkumar Parmar, General Manager, Bosch Global Software Technologies (BGSW) spoke about the company’s product suite in cyber security, with a special focus on the AIShield. “AIShield secures AI systems against emerging cybersecurity threats. It is an award-winning AI-Security solution designed to protect valuable AI systems which are built on valuable data,” he said.

McAfee, a computer security software company, shared tips on how individuals can protect themselves simply by being aware of their cyber surroundings. Here are some of them:

Think Before You Click: One of the easiest ways for a cybercriminal to target victims is by using phishing emails to trick consumers into sharing their personal information. Phishing emails could be disguised as festive and holiday savings or even shopping notifications. Instead of clicking on a link in an email, always check directly with the source to verify an offer or shipment.

Watch out for fraudulent websites and ads: Today, anyone can create a website or online ad that looks like it’s from a legitimate retailer. They may tout a special offer or a great deal on a hot holiday item, yet such sites are a popular avenue for cybercriminals to harvest personal and financial information. They are commonly spread by social media, email, and other messaging platforms, so be sceptical of any links you see on these channels.

Protect your identity: Hackers often use consumers’ personally identifiable information to make fraudulent purchases — a trick that would certainly interrupt a festive/ holiday shopping spree. An online security solution takes a proactive approach to help protect identities with personal and financial monitoring and recovery tools to help keep identities personal and secure.

Secure your Digital wallet: Protecting your digital wallet with a passcode is the best and easiest way to deter cybercriminals. It’s best if this combination of numbers is different from the passcode to your phone. Birthdays, anniversaries, house addresses, and the last digits of your phone number are all popular combinations and are crackable codes to a resourceful criminal.  Better yet, if your mobile wallet app allows you to protect your account with facial recognition or a fingerprint scan, set it up. If your digital wallet proves difficult or impossible to enter, a cybercriminal may leave it for an easier target, keeping your PII safe.

October is recognised as the cyber security month worldwide and while the month draws to an end, does not mean the awareness should too.

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