Cybersecurity and Data Privacy are now intertwined with an organization’s focus and business
In the present day the entire world is data dependent. Data is the most valuable asset for an organization depending on which all kinds of decision-making take place. With the growing importance of data, comes the implications. The bad actors of the cyber world are now targeting data for malicious reasons.
Data breach is a matter of concern as it dampens the consumers' privacy, loss of business and the brand reputation. According to a survey, 67% of the victim companies were attacked more than once, which clearly indicates that if the attacker breached a company, the attacker is more likely to attack the company again. The reason being the attacker keeps many backdoors to a target victim. The incident responders try to fix only the root cause and fail to identify other potential backdoors.
For this, cybersecurity plays an important part in an organization as it protects organization from many risks such as user and organization critical data security. With the help of cybersecurity guidelines, compliance, regulation, organization can reduce the chance of attacks and minimize the impact of any breaches, and safeguard against data loss, ultimately preserving the company's reputation.
Cybersecurity and data privacy are pillars of an organization to keep it on track. On one hand data privacy defines the rules for who can access the data and how it is accessed, cybersecurity ensures that the data is safe and is protected from unauthorized access and data breaches. Organization needs to take a holistic approach including policy, process, technology and regular training to have their data protected as well as secure.
Importance of cybersecurity and data privacy
Data is the oil of modern day and cybersecurity holds importance here as it provides protection to all kinds of data from theft. With ever-evolving technology, cyber criminals are also launching evolved techniques for data theft. Data protection is also crucial for businesses as data breaches have several severe repercussions.
Sanjay Patodia, CEO & Director, Galaxy Office Automation explains, “Cybersecurity is important because it protects all categories of data from theft and damage. This includes sensitive data, personal information, intellectual property, data, and governmental and industry information systems. Prioritizing data protection ensures legal compliance, financial stability, and sustained reputation, fostering a culture of trust among customers and stakeholders. This is important to businesses of all sizes because legal, financial, and reputational repercussions can have a severe negative impact on any business. In today's business environment, secure access to systems and data is critical. It also requires a reliable authentication process. Without this, users can access company data that is sensitive and potentially vulnerable to misuse. This can also compromise system reliability.”
These days we live in an interconnected world, where organizations connect across the globe and share data. With this, the significance of cybersecurity increases. Cyber threats can originate from anywhere, and organizations need to be vigilant in protecting their systems and data.
Gunasegharan K, Director, eCAPS Computers feels, “Organizations often handle sensitive data, including customer information, financial records, and proprietary business data. Ensuring the security of this information is essential to maintain trust with customers, partners, and stakeholders.
Many countries and industries have strict regulations regarding the protection of personal and sensitive data. Non-compliance can result in severe legal consequences, fines, and damage to the organization's reputation.
Direct costs of addressing a breach, such as investigation, notification, and remediation, can have great Financial Implications.
Intellectual property is a key asset. Cybersecurity measures help protect trade secrets, patents, and other proprietary information from theft or unauthorized access.”
According to the latest threat report, the rampant abuse of zero-day and one-day vulnerabilities in the past six months led to a 143% increase in victims, when Q1 2023 is compared with Q1 2022, which clearly indicates the importance of it. This is also getting reflected in the cyber security investments, which will be $ 4.5 billion by 2027 in India alone.
As cyber threats pose a challenge for all types of organizations irrespective of industry type, cybersecurity is a must for all. Continuing on the same, Nandakumar. R, Head – Presales, DigitalTrack Solutions says, “Irrespective of the industry type, all organizations need to give high importance to cybersecurity, since the threats pose a risk to all business sizes. All organizations maintain at least their employee data, which is Personal data. So, data privacy is applicable to all the organizations. Every country, after the GDPR, has come with personal data protection regulations that must be complied by all industries. In India, the Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) bill was recently passed, forcing everyone to abide by it.
Personal data that are exfiltrated through cyber-attacks, using various threat vectors are increasing, that exploits the vulnerabilities for the data exfiltration. Hence both cyber security and data privacy are very important.”
At present organizations are undergoing a digital transformation journey and they face new risks in the form of cybersecurity and data privacy. In this context, organizations must respond to threats posed by unauthorized access and to the growing value of their data which is witnessing unparalleled surge thanks to rapid digitization of economies.
“If customer business is cyber resilient, then they are able to operate seamlessly even under persistent threats and sophisticated attacks, enabling them to embrace disruption safely, strengthen customer trust and boost shareholder value. Be it cloud, or supply chain or traditional workplace or remote work securing by design than afterthought is crucial to mitigate risks emerging from advanced threats which are ever evolving. As Artificial intelligence (AI) becomes a new driver of growth for organizations, attacks on AI are continuing to emerge and here again a robust pro-active cybersecurity program by design will help organizations to counter them before they can cause serious damage.
Data Privacy is part of a data protection program which is centred around how PII data should be collected, stored, managed, and shared with any third parties, as well as achieve compliance with the applicable privacy laws such as GDPR or own Digital Personal Data Protection Act of 2023. Data breaches are on rise and cost of breaches has risen to almost USD 4.5 million in 2023 and hence a well-crafted data privacy program is extremely critical for organizations to mitigate data breaches, earn trust, increase brand value and the icing on the cake is achieving compliance too in the whole process,” views Raghunandan Koushik, VP - Cyber Security Sales, Value Point Systems.
“Cybersecurity and data privacy are crucial for organizations. They help protect sensitive information, prevent unauthorized access, and ensure the integrity of data. A strong cybersecurity posture builds trust with clients, safeguards intellectual property, and mitigates financial risks associated with data breaches. Additionally, compliance with privacy regulations is increasingly important, as non-compliance can result in legal consequences and damage to a company's reputation. Overall, prioritizing cybersecurity and data privacy is essential for the long-term success and trustworthiness of organizations,” says Manasi Saha, Owner & Founder, Macaws Infotech
Ramifications of data breach
Today, organizations are increasingly dependent on digital assets and whether it is present within or outside the premises of organizations, they are prone to threats. Data breaches bring serious implications to organizations.
N.K. Mehta, Secure Network Solutions says, “Digital transformation across various corporations belonging to different verticals results in dependence on Digital Assets. With Digital Assets present within and outside the organization’s premises, has made it more vulnerable to threats. And even a known malware on one machine may result in data deletion or corruption or encryption, resulting in huge impact across the organization. Yes, if we think of the possibilities, it is scary to say the least.
Data breaches can expose sensitive information, damage the reputation, erode trust of customers and corporations may incur huge financial losses. Corporations need to audit their infrastructure on a regular basis & implement the latest techniques to prevent data breaches. Data breaches can be avoided but need constant vigilance and proactive measures coupled with regular training to the teams involved.”
Talking about the enormous penalties for data breach, L Ashok, MD, Futurenet Technologies comments, “Data privacy act is stringent with huge penalties. Moreover, shareholders' confidence and business continuity organizations will be taking this seriously to draft, audit and implement security systems to prevent such data leaks.”
Highlighting the fact that the investment is not enough for the organizations as hackers stay ahead of securities, Jiten Mehta, Chairman, Magnamious Systems says, “Whatever organizations are investing are not enough as the hackers are always ahead of the securities we invest into. So, every organization needs to be always on a high alert and needs to invest in resources for threat hunting and intelligence.”
Talking about the ramifications of the data breaches, Amarnath Shetty, MD, LDS Infotech elaborates, “The ramifications of a data breach for corporations are indeed serious and growing, with potentially far-reaching consequences. Here are some key aspects to consider:
Financial Impact: Data breaches can result in significant financial losses for organizations. The costs associated with investigating the breach, notifying affected parties, implementing security measures, and addressing legal consequences can be substantial. Additionally, there may be long-term financial repercussions due to the loss of customers, damage to the company's reputation, and potential legal actions.
Reputation Damage: A data breach can have a severe impact on a company's reputation. Trust is hard to regain once it's lost, and customers, clients, and partners may lose confidence in the organization's ability to protect their sensitive information. This can lead to a decline in customer loyalty, decreased market share, and a damaged brand image.
Regulatory Consequences: Many regions and industries have implemented strict data protection regulations. A data breach may lead to non-compliance with these regulations, resulting in fines and legal penalties. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, for example, empowers regulatory bodies to impose fines of up to a significant percentage of an organization's global annual revenue for serious violations.
Loss of Intellectual Property: For companies heavily reliant on intellectual property, a data breach can lead to the theft of proprietary information, trade secrets, and research and development data. This not only undermines the organization's competitive advantage but can also have broader economic implications.
Operational Disruption: Beyond the immediate financial and reputational impact, a data breach can disrupt normal business operations. Remediation efforts, system repairs, and increased cybersecurity measures may temporarily or permanently affect the organization's ability to deliver products and services.
Customer and Employee Trust: Both customers and employees entrust organizations with sensitive personal information. A data breach can erode this trust, not only with customers but also internally with employees who may question the company's commitment to their privacy and security. Employee morale and productivity may suffer as a result.
Increased Cybersecurity Costs: After a data breach, organizations often need to invest heavily in improving their cybersecurity infrastructure. This includes implementing advanced security measures, conducting thorough security audits, and providing cybersecurity training to employees. These increased costs are an ongoing consequence of a breach.
Litigation and Legal Challenges: Data breaches can lead to lawsuits from affected individuals, regulatory bodies, or business partners. Legal battles can be time-consuming and expensive, further adding to the overall impact of the breach.
Database corruption and harm can result from breaches.
Compliance and legal ramifications may also arise from data breaches.
Individuals may also be severely impacted by data breaches, which can result in identity theft and a loss of privacy.
1. Make password changes
2. Enroll in two-factor verification.
3. Seek out any corporate updates.
4. Keep an eye on your accounts and credit reports.
5. Take identity theft protection services into account.
6. Credit freezing
Given these serious consequences, organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of proactively investing in robust cybersecurity measures to prevent, detect, and respond to potential breaches. Prevention and preparedness are key components of a comprehensive strategy to mitigate the risks associated with data breaches.”
Addressing the concerns of cyber crime and data privacy
Data is growing at a rapid pace and with that the concerns of cybercrime and data privacy is also increasing multi-fold. As the ramifications of data breach draws immense implications, it is necessary to address those concerns.
Sanjay Kaushal, CISO, Orbit Techsol talks about addressing the concerns and says, “We can address the concerns of growing cybercrime and data privacy by raising cyber awareness among all customers and users. This involves implementing various cybersecurity guidelines and protection software, deploying effective cybersecurity solutions like ransomware protections, using right applications that limits information sharing. Additionally, the Service providers must build a robust and hardened Data Center with all the effective cyber security solutions to protect customer sensitive data.”
In addressing the concerns of cyber crime and data privacy of the organizations the partners play a vital role. The partners put their best efforts to ensure that their customers have the best data security policy.
Underlighting the importance of the partners, Sanjay Patodia states, “Organizations can address the concerns of growing cybercrime and data privacy by assessing cybersecurity practices of partners, prioritizing data protection measures, training employees in security principles, protecting information, computers, and networks from cyber-attacks, complying with data security requirements. We as partners help our customers ensure that they have the best data security policy which starts from restricting user access to certain areas and deactivating when they finish the job, only privileged users should, for instance, be allowed to upgrade or downgrade the data classification. Limit access to information based on the concept of least privilege which means only those privileges necessary for performing the intended purpose should be offered. Network's endpoints are constantly under threat therefore, it is important that organisations set up a robust endpoint security infrastructure to negate the chances of possible data breaches. A risk-based approach allows organisations to comply with regulations and protect it from potential leaks and breaches.”
Reiterating similar views, Nityanand Shetty, Founder & CEO, Essen Vision Software says, “The New Age threats require a partner like us to up their game constantly by reskilling and adapting to new age technologies, tools and training. In the age of Regenerative AI the concerns and threats for customers are far more sophisticated than what they were before. Constant changes in regulations in various industries mean we need to be ready to map the necessary tools and technologies to the various requirements mandated by regulators to their entities. Today, Essen Vision is proud to have a 24*7 MSS & MDR Centre to Analyse, Monitor, Manage & and provide remediation capabilities to customers across their End User Technologies, Cloud Platforms, SASE, Applications & Data & DataBases.”
Talking about the strategy adopted to address the concerns, Nandakumar. R elaborates, “First and foremost thing we are doing is understanding the customer infrastructure and the business pattern, then assessing their potential risks through a Gap Analysis. After the assessment, we build a roadmap in consultation with the customer and prepare the remediation plan. The remediation plan will address the defence in depth and includes process and right security solutions to the customer. We use two principles when developing the solutions:
• Fit for purpose
• Value for money
To quickly reduce the risks, we support detection and response through our managed SOC, where we have the experienced security engineers who will be detecting the attacks proactively and act.
In addition, we perform phishing simulations, Red Teaming, security awareness training , Breach Attack Simulation (BAS) to name a few, that ensures that the attack is detected at an early stage and responded to.
We assess ourselves periodically to ensure our organization is also secure.”
L Ashok mentions about their new service and says, “Our newly launched service "Information Security Audit & Solutions (ISAS), is a comprehensive audit framework to help organizations to understand the gap between policy, implementation and practice with a touch from technology angle.”
Secure Network Solutions believes in educating the customers and this has garnered appreciation from its customers.
Revealing the strategy N. K . Mehta states, “We at SNS have a clear strategy which starts with educating the customer by various means, demonstrating the security controls required and presenting the proof of value. Such efforts have resulted in customers acknowledging our role as a responsible solution provider and appreciating our efforts towards that. We continue delivering these diligently.
We have been working with a single-minded focus on cybersecurity for the last 23 years. We always say "While others ALSO do Security, we ONLY do Security". We act as trusted security advisor of our customers and make our customers worry free.”
With more than 30 years of expertise, Value Point Systems offers a practitioner approach while addressing cyber concerns. Raghunandan Koushik declares, “The good news for our customers is we have built over 30 years of expertise and we bring a practitioner approach to customers while dealing with both cyber and data privacy. Some of the key things which we do include”
Our GRC team can perform privacy impact assessments, Data flow analysis, Breach and Attack simulation assessments, Compliance assessments which help customers come on speed with respect to Data privacy and related compliance needs
On Technical controls front, we suggest right set of tools and implement them through our strategic partnerships with best of breed OEM partners and we also help our customers mitigate any untoward breach faster through best-in-class OEM incident response services
Leveraging SOC services and giving customers real-time view of critical events including events happening from data security controls like DLP. Also, we mitigate risks through trusted threat intel which powers our SOC and seasoned SOC Analysts doing the threat hunt and mitigation curated to each of our customers 24x7x365.”
Both cybersecurity and data privacy are two important aspects of an organization. Cybersecurity, Data Privacy now more than ever has become intertwined with an organisation's focus and business. Any impact however small makes on digital assets, may push organisation's business into jeopardy. One cannot emphasis enough how crucial it is.
It's essential for any entity involved in technology to stay informed about evolving cybersecurity threats, regularly update security protocols, and adhere to data protection regulations to address the concerns of growing cybercrime and safeguard user privacy.
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