What Is Your Biggest Cybersecurity Concern and How Is Your Company Addressing Cyber Risks?

By Sandy Frinton, PULSE Editor

Viewpoints from Subramanya C., Executive Vice President & Global Chief Technology Officer for HGS, a global leader in business process management.

P: What is your biggest cybersecurity concern?

As enterprises grow increasingly digital, the threat landscape grows larger. Hackers have a broader canvas for intrusions with malware, ransomware and cryptocurrency mining malware attacks that can uncover and deliver valuable proprietary data and intellectual property. Today, the threats are more nefarious because they often bypass perimeter security and sit passively on desktops and mobile devices waiting to be activated by the simple click of an unknowing user.

Another growing challenge is the ability to proactively identify and address intentional and unintentional threats from insiders before vulnerabilities are exploited. Considering the needs of employees and finding the right balance between openness and isolation is important. In our interconnected world, you cannot close all the gates, but you can proactively incorporate the right tools to detect when something goes wrong. By doing so, enterprises are well-positioned to move from a strategy of detection to one of protection.

Identifying, selecting and implementing a suite of tools for an environment to protect Endpoint + Perimeter + Mobile devices, and ensuring all range of endpoints are protected (including servers, workstations, gateways, exchange servers and storage devices) against viruses and malware is a complex and challenging assignment. When modifying any security practice, whether it’s changing emphasis or adopting new or stronger endpoint security tools, it’s important to maintain a holistic perspective.

P: How is your company addressing cyber risks?

HGS has embarked on a journey to create a cyber-security framework for the organization by way of assessing insiders and creating rule sets within tools like DLP, CASB, etc. to limit end users’ ability to go beyond their boundary of usage.

HGS also provides awareness trainings and simulates phishing emails to make sure we educate and train our employees so they can identify an attack if they see one. Also important, we encourage people to adopt security best practices in their own personal environments to build a culture of security. Human error is often the weakest link in every enterprise security, but well-trained users are our strongest asset.

Endpoint security adds a new layer of protection that does not require a complete change in an existing security practice. Deciding on endpoint security involves assessing risk, based on the value of the business data, where it is located, and the amount of mobile access to that data.  At HGS, we have ensured multi-layered and multi-vendor/products endpoint security approach with Endpoint security solutions with DLP, encryption, secure DNS, Anti- Malware Threat Prevention, Cloud Access Security Broker for cloud computing and mobile workers, Email DLP, Web DLP, Network level IPS and Anti-Malware Threat prevention solution deployed at Enterprise Gateway / Perimeter levels.

In addition to all the above process and technology implementations, we also have a Cyber Insurance policy to provide coverage of the losses incurred during the recovery period, and the costs involved in dealing with such attacks.

Viewpoints from Abhishek Rungta, Founder and CEO, Indus Net Technologies

P: What is your biggest cybersecurity concern?

Cybersecurity threats have increased in recent months, and both organizations and regulators agree that one must prepare oneself in multiple ways to thwart attacks before they happen. There are multiple cybersecurity concerns at the moment, and it would be foolhardy to focus on a single threat. Blockchain-based cryptocurrency mining scams such as “cryptojack,” and identity thefts are rising concerns too.

P: How is your company addressing cyber risks?

To address these multiple risks, organizations should focus on having a strategy in place that prioritizes governance, risk assessment, and preparedness.  A major chunk of IT governance should be devoted to cyber policies and averting threats from taking place.

Governance can put these best practices into a formal strategy:

  • Single Sign-on and Multifactor Authentication
  • DNS internet and web application monitoring, filtering and protection
  • Make cybersecurity training top priority for levels of employees in the organization, and include end-users and vendors in the training programs
  • Getting decision-makers to recognize that cyber threats are a financial risk
  • Make sure that you seek informed consent when you collect personally identifiable information to comply with GDPR

The next step is to conduct a security audit and run risk assessments regularly. Most cyber threats evolve and change, while new ones germinate every so often. It is important to make continuous risk assessments part of security policy.

  • Conduct security audits and risk assessments on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis
  • Collaborate with other firms for a real-time communication related to security threats
  • Evaluate existing technology and systems, and upgrade if necessary, while having a clear cloud computing policy in place.

To address the most important security threats, one needs to understand that the potential maliciousness of a threat greatly changes over a period of time. Thus, it is important to be prepared for both existing and new ones, and acknowledge that each threat may become malignant or benign over a period of time. To be prepared, following measures need to be incorporated:

  • Enhanced network, services, and device performance monitoring & management
  • Manage corporate and user policy templates, with a special focus on access management and cryptography controls
  • Watch out for newer threats such as Cryptojack, identity thefts, and large-scale data disruption and distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices to create large amounts of data, and it is important to keep this data safe and comply with GDPR
  • Implement a highly secure device & vendor management, information classification and disposal policy

It is not advisable to focus on a single cybersecurity threat, when multiple threats evolve continuously, including from IoT devices. What is important is to have an effective governance, risk assessment, cybersecurity training, access management, and preparedness policy in place. Such a strategy provides organizations with ammunition to battle new and existing threats, while also making complying with regulations such as GDPR easier.

For more on cybersecurity, please check out our recent Atlanta Chapter Round Up.

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