Why businesses need strong cybersecurity infrastructure for digital reliance
Jonathon Dixon, Vice President and MD - APJC, Cloudflare
Over the last couple of years, businesses have gone through significant digitalization to fit the current environment and market demands. This resulted in these organizations becoming successful in integration of new-age technologies in order to speed up operations, cut costs, increase profits, and open new avenues for businesses.
Jonathon Dixon is responsible for building and leading all APJC customer-facing teams, as well as developing channels and alliances, to help organizations leverage the power of Cloudflare’s global network. Prior to Cloudflare, Jonathon held multiple leadership roles at Amazon Web Services (AWS) for almost 5 years, including leading the multi-billion dollar Enterprise Business Segment with 800+ employees across Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ).
The integration of such technologies into businesses has not only redefined Internet usage, but has also increased our reliance on digital channels in other aspects of business like better resource management, increased resilience, and many more. Moreover, innovation to counter the impact of the pandemic on business operations has been instrumental in building more online capabilities, regardless of geographical limitations. This subsequently led to the rise of the work-from-anywhere culture, which has only increased the exchange of data, making it one of the most valuable yet fragile resources for all the connected stakeholders.
As businesses turned digital-ready, they also became more vulnerable to cyber threats. Some of the most common include data theft, HTTP attacks, ransomware attacks, and phishing. According to the latest report by Cloudflare, there has been an alarming uptick in highly-randomized and sophisticated HTTP DDoS attacks over the past few months. This points out how vulnerable businesses are to cyberattacks.
To protect a business from becoming a victim of these attacks, CIOs and CISOs must lay focus on deploying a web application firewall and enterprise-grade DDoS protection.
Such attacks can result in operational disruption, intellectual property theft, impact on relationships with business partners, legal penalties, loss of credibility, loss of customers and many more. Cyberattacks can hugely impact an organization’s reputation which can then lead to loss of trust and, subsequently, customer churn. While businesses have realized that trust serves as a catalyst for the growth of an enterprise, a number of businesses still lay less emphasis on updating their traditional security network to be able to tackle the latest risks. As a result, bad actors can easily penetrate the company’s private network and gain access to critical data and information.
"The most commonly used tactic by cyber attackers to steal data is by sending malicious links to users within a private network."
In such a complex scenario, it has become vital for companies to take the necessary measures in order to build a strong cybersecurity infrastructure.
Here are some steps companies can take to build a strong cybersecurity ecosystem for their businesses:
Deployment of Firewall and DDoS protection service - Public-facing endpoints like web applications are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. To protect a business from becoming a victim of these attacks, CIOs and CISOs must lay focus on deploying a web application firewall and enterprise-grade DDoS protection. An enterprise-grade DDoS protection service can safeguard computer networks from attacks that would go undetected otherwise.
Maintain data backups - Threat actors are increasingly using ransomware to steal critical information from companies. Ransomware is a type of malware that can help attackers get complete unauthorized access to a company’s data. With data being one of the most fragile resources available to an organization, it is wise to back up your data on the cloud.
User Education - The most commonly used tactic by cyber attackers to steal data is by sending malicious links to users within a private network. Oftentimes, employees are lured to click on harmful links, download suspicious attachments, and log in on fake web portals, which allows attackers to enter into a private network and steal critical information. To address these challenges, companies must emphasize educating their employees on best cyber hygiene practices and habits to keep the corporate network safe.
Adopt Zero Trust approach - To protect a private computer network from the entry of threat actors, businesses can adopt a Zero Trust Security Network. Touted as one of the most holistic approaches, a Zero Trust security network runs on the principle of ‘Never Trust, Always Verify.’ The security network asks users to verify their identity every time they try to access any information.
Considering the pace at which the digital landscape is growing in India, it is apparent that we will witness a sizable jump in the number of data breaches and cyberattacks on businesses, as these attacks continue to increase and become more sophisticated. To help businesses in terms of productivity, reduce the risk of loss of critical data, and provide better infrastructure support, the Government of India made a special announcement in this year's Union Budget, by announcing the allocation of Rs. 600 Crores to improve its cybersecurity infrastructure. While it's encouraging to see the government providing the necessary support to combat cyber threats, businesses have the ultimate responsibility to ensure a robust security posture that can withstand cyberattacks.