Securing India's Digital Infrastructure Amid Covid-19

Rana holds a Master of Engineering in Electronics and Communications from IIT, Roorkee and Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh. He is an enthusiastic public speaker, presenting his technology expertise at CII, Mumbai and DSCI, New Delhi and many other public occasions in Asia.

As businesses across the world shift to ‘work from home’ mode amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber security has been ever so critical. Cyber criminals are looking to exploit vulnerabilities in organizational data security to gain unauthorized access to information as more and more people log in to work from their homes.

In India itself, after the PM-CARES fund was set up recently, cyber criminals set up similar sounding UPI ids in a bid to lure naïve donors. Likewise, there are websites promising information on those infected by the coronavirus ‘near your location’ or providing ‘COVID-19 heatmaps’. Most of these are attempts to hack and steal information from laptops and phones.

At such times, when more and more people are working from home, away from secure office networks, the role of technology companies becomes significant in providing data security solutions. As a global technology company present in India since 1953, Thales believes in all round security to help stakeholders deploy reinforced IT security measures to protect data, networks and telecoms. Remotely functioning staff need a messaging and communicating platform that provides a high level of data protection while promising convenience. One such example is that of Citadel, a secure messaging solution from Thales. This messaging platform comes with robust safety features and has a built-in encryption system. This makes it a preferable environment for employees to communicate among themselves, as well as with external contacts. As a responsible global leader in security, Thales has made both Citadel and Crytobox available free of cost in the current scenario.

Additionally, individuals and organisations need to be mindful of their actions and focus on keeping themselves cyber-secure while they work from home. From accessing only safe sites to safeguarding oneself from misinformation, employees need to abide by their company’s IT security policies and avoid usage of any insecure devices and unapproved tools and services.

Organisations must also ensure that adequate safeguards are taken as employees work from home. These include combining threat detection tools with cyber threat intelligence for early detection and mitigation.

Vigilant use of available tools such as Encryption, Multi-factor authentication (like OTP, digital signatures, biometric), VPN among others should also be considered. CISOs, IT security teams can deploy solutions such as SafeNet Trusted Access with single sign-on and scenario-based access policies to help secure remote access for VPN users and cloud services such as Office 365, Salesforce or other virtual environments.

It is also critical for organisations to have the right cloud security in place. To protect sensitive data, it is key to know where to find it and once this is classified, this data should be encrypted and protected with a strong multi-cloud key management strategy.

As technology seamlessly integrates with critical businesses to sustain operations in today’s time, security remains an important aspect of business continuity. Organisations must assess their IT infrastructure and, deploy robust and advanced cyber security solutions. This will secure organisations and their workers from ever increasing cyber-attacks and potential cyber-threats in case of remote access/work from home/shadow IT risks by employees.