Sunday, July 21, 2024

With Simplification, And Open Architecture; Cyber Crimes in B2B Can Be Combated

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At a time when increasing number of Indian business to business (B2B) areas and niches are subject to newer and enhanced forms of cyber-attacks, it only becomes imperative to use some sort of solutions that can offer a minimum of one layer of protection from newer forms of cyber crimes and thereby shun cyber criminals.

B2B sectors, here, refer to organisations such as banks, large financial institutions, and the manufacturing sector as well. Also, at this instant of time, it is worth remembering that after Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announced the ambitious Digital India initiative, the number of cyber-criminals and hackers have only multiplied.

With this being the criteria, Rahul R of Electronics For You interacted with AP Ramabhadran who is senior vice-president at Bengaluru-based Manipal Global Education on various cyber security aspects and the role of our government in combating these attacks.

Q. What is the importance of cyber security in the 2017 Digital India scheme of things? How to engineer the best cyber security solutions that can be practically implemented? 

AP Ramabhadran of Manipal Global

A. Rapid digitization initiatives worldwide emphasize the need for more native cyber security measures. As we enter the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ with Internet of Things and advances in machine intelligence, it is more imperative to make cyber security and privacy at the center of this transformation.

Modern Threat actors are very powerful with unlimited resources and time. There is an important nuance between engineering cyber security solutions and engineering any solutions that are natively secure. To combat them Simplification, Automation, Open Architectures are needed in both areas.

Q. What, according to you (being an experienced industry professional) is the current focus of our government on cyber security? How do you think that the government is promoting international collaborations digital security?

A. Digital India and the Smart City initiatives of Government of India has a huge emphasis on cyber security. Numerous initiatives like Cyber Swachhata Kendra are started in public-private partnerships to promote cyber security.

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Data Security Council of India (DSCI) is also driving many initiatives to foster innovation and adoption in this area by promoting startups and international collaborations.

Q. Since we spoke about initiatives to protect data digitally, what are the best measures that can be taken to check Intellectual Property thefts?

A. Intellectual property is central to any knowledge based society. Intervention of technology and resultant digitization has made almost everything – design, technology, art, and music available in digital form.

In this context, it is important to promote awareness of measures to prevent intellectual property thefts. Cyber literacy will encourage sharing of information digitally only in secure manner with an understanding of threats involved. There is also a need for standardization of cyber security measures aimed at curbing possible threats.

Q. Any thoughts on cyber security in the smart retail space, how vulnerable do you think are smart retail devices? This is vital as smart retail is catching up fast in India (with the emergence of new startups in this domain).

A. In general, security is an afterthought especially in not so regulated verticals like retail. As we move towards a cashless society, explosion of digital payments like e-wallets, payment apps and other methods are being adopted by retailers – regular and online – in a rapid scale.

Many of the modern malware infect point-of-sale terminals, vulnerable API interfaces and malicious advertisements online.  A more proactive approach, responsible security development practice, state-of-art security control adoptions are needed in the retail space as it touches the lives of billions with potential access to large volumes of personal information.

Q. How do you think the need, to structure the Indian academic curriculum to include cyber security, is now? Any solutions that you can offer?

A. Most of the cyber security topics are introduced as optional at Bachelors Level or available as advanced courses at Masters Level. Often such topics are found to be outdated. Therefore, the need of the hour is to immediately update our curriculum with the latest cyber security trends.

Another issue we have identified over the years’ is the problem of working professionals who are not able to upskill themselves due to their professional commitments.

As far as solutions are concerned, we have developed an exclusive Manipal Global cyber security program in association with Deakin University, Australia. This program offers will offer advanced courses viz. Advanced Digital Security (deals with how IT security control mechanisms are implemented in the cyber space, that includes access control mechanisms, identity management, system security, biometric security, and the latest safety and security issues of cyberspace).

There is also the Advanced Digital Forensics that deals with a variety of different computer forensic frameworks including exploitation techniques such as shellcode, DLL hooking, and authentication eavesdrop.

To add to the above, a practical project will be offered as a part of this curriculum. Students will identify a potential problem or technical gap and experience how to solve it using methods, algorithms and techniques pertinent to the field of IT.

Q. Finally, for digital growth, what do you think is the need to build cyber security capability, and the need to create a more dedicated pool of cyber security experts?

A. As per industry estimates from Cisco and Symantec, by 2019 there is a global shortage of 1.5 million cyber security professionals at all levels. It is imperative for specialized training academies to develop and deliver flexible and scalable programs that are targeted at filling the gap of cyber security professionals and experts.

Explosion in digital growth need to be complemented by increase in talent pool to meet cyber security talent requirements.


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