A popular saying among cybersecurity professionals goes — you can't protect what you can't see. The ability to see, and having visibility of all points of potential breaches, is a critical requirement for all cybersecurity professionals. That said, with the explosive growth of data, an increase in the number of endpoints, a complex network layer, and a general evolution of the entire IT infrastructure, getting this visibility is a gargantuan task for most organisations.
With any breach of data or instances of information stolen, customers face difficulties in trusting companies with their sensitive financial and personal data. The increasing number of successful attacks and lack of transparency are amongst the many reasons driving this mindset.
A recent global study by McKinsey & Company shows companies utilising AI, digital technologies, and data to create trustworthy products and experiences, not only meet customer expectations but also foster a remarkable annual business growth of 10%. According to the study, 58% of respondents from APAC would opt to purchase from another brand if the company they are buying from does not demonstrate how their data will be utilised.
Consequently, building trust has become an important concern for companies, striving to ensure their customers feel secure and have complete confidence in them. With this, companies can foster long-term relationships, drive customer loyalty and secure repeat business.
Nurturing digital trust
As one of the fastest growing economies, India is actively striving to improve its cybersecurity preparedness. The recent attacks on organisations in India have served as a wake-up call for businesses, driving them to look at cybersecurity more closely. The ripple effects of such breaches necessitate extensive efforts to regain the confidence of affected customers. A reactive approach, therefore, is not the way forward.
Customers, too, are a lot more aware of the implications of their personal data being leaked. They’re not only cautious about what data to share, but also cognizant of who to share it with. It has therefore become imperative for organisations to look at building ‘digital trust’ with their customers. Given the constantly evolving cybersecurity landscape, it is an ongoing endeavour that organisations need to engage in, ensuring the data is secure at all times!
Sophisticated attacks pushing businesses to the edge?
According to a CERT-In report, the number of Ransomware incidents reported in India went up by 53% in 2022 compared to 2021. Attackers targeted important organisations and disrupted crucial services to force them to pay money. Q1 2023 also saw India being the 4th most targeted country impacted by ransomware activity, according to Trellix’s Advanced Research Center.
There is a concerning trend where cybercriminals utilise phishing and malware tactics to exploit job seekers and organisations, aiming to acquire confidential data. Thus, it becomes imperative for businesses to invest in a robust cyber security strategy. For a comprehensive XDR (extended detection and response) solution can offer seamless integration across endpoint protection, detection and response, as well as email and network response. By affording organisations enhanced visibility, it facilitates the formulation of efficient response strategies while automating time-consuming repetitive tasks.
Innovation and deception — The ultimate crossroad
Last year, when ChatGPT was announced, it became the talk of the town. People were wowed by what it could do and how it could be used. While chatbots like ChatGPT aren't meant to be malicious, they are being used by threat actors to craft convincing emails aimed at scamming unsuspecting people. For example, fraudsters are also creating fake ChatGPT websites to implant harmful software and execute phishing campaigns or spread malware on to the user’s systems.
To sum up, cybercriminals are also active around the clock, heightening the need for business leaders to continuously stay ahead and enhance their organisations' cyber preparedness against emerging and targeted cyber threats. The need of the hour is to proactively identify, address, and protect against any cyber-attacks across the entire IT architecture. Upholding strong cybersecurity and data protection practices ensures data quality and integrity, safeguarding against data modification or loss. Likewise, leveraging a reliable cybersecurity platform empowers businesses to carefully utilise their data, prevent leaks, and make well-informed choices in response to their current situation, market conditions, and emerging issues.
Jonathan Tan is Managing Director – Asia at cybersecurity company Trellix