Preventing Cyber Threats Such as Ransomware, Phishing & Data Loss for Businesses

Preventing Cyber Threats Such as Ransomware, Phishing & Data Loss for Businesses

Over the past few decades, India has been witnessing a rapid expansion in the Internet community across rural and urban areas. There are currently 932 million internet users in India, and it is expected to increase to 1.13 billion by 2025. In addition, the push towards a digital economy and a remote work culture sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic have triggered an increase in Internet use. The government's focus on narrowing the digital divide through initiatives like Digital India is also playing a critical role in driving digitalization. Businesses are actively enabling digitized functions, and empowering people and processes.

However, digital transformation often requires companies to invest in and modify their IT infrastructure. In the case of smaller companies, this sort of investment can be quite challenging. The transformation also involves shifting operations to the cloud to provide a seamless experience for customers, while allowing employees to work from anywhere, thus increasing productivity. But, due to lack of proper IT skills, employees often struggle.

Another challenge involves change management strategies, which are critical for every business to adapt in order to survive in a rapidly transforming environment. Often, companies do not realize that digital transformation is more than just a technology upgrade, it is a journey of implementing processes which are automated and data-driven to boost business processes and productivity. Another aspect, the most critical one, is that a company needs to have the right solutions in place to prevent and fight cyber threats.

It is evident that digital transformation is far from easy.

As we enter a digital future, cyberattacks are surging in terms of impact and complexity. Today's attackers have developed new techniques to threaten critical information. A cyberattack can involve various challenges like ransomware, phishing, and data loss, which can cost a business millions. Such attacks can take place within private as well as through third-party networks. Recently, Cloudflare witnessed phishing attempts by unidentified actors. The attackers targeted our employees, but the Cloudflare One Threat Intelligence team was able to thwart the attack.

The frequency of cyberattacks has increased significantly after the pandemic. According to a report by Cloudflare, 'Data Security in The Age of Zero Trust,' India has recorded a 36% rise in data breaches since the start of the pandemic whereas phishing attempts and ransomware attacks have increased by 44% and 33% respectively.

These attacks can impact businesses in various ways:

  • Loss of corporate and financial information: With the push towards remote working, the need for and importance of data have escalated. A breach can result in the loss of confidential information and credentials, which can be used by attackers to harm the reputation of an organization.
  • Financial losses: A rise in digital ways of working has resulted in ransomware attacks. Attackers illegally gain access to an organization's confidential data through phishing attempts and then demand ransom. The organization is left with no option but to pay to regain access to its files.
  • Loss of customers: By gaining illegal access to a company's IT infrastructure, cyber attackers can steal confidential information. This poses a serious threat to reputation as the data stolen can be misused to harm a company's image, which can then result in loss of customers.

As these attacks are increasing at an alarming rate and require organizations to embrace a foolproof security infrastructure, it has now become imperative for businesses to implement a Zero Trust security framework. Such infrastructure requires uncompromising identity verification of a person or device trying to access resources on a private network regardless of whether they are sitting within or outside the network perimeter. With India striving to push digitalization across business sectors and societies, there is a great need for organizations and leaders to be aware of the Zero Trust model. According to the same Cloudflare report, India has the lowest level of awareness about Zero Trust. Such a security model can help organizations by increasing transparency and productivity, and by eliminating the use of VPN.

Cyberattacks are capitalizing on vulnerable systems. Today, every business, regardless of size, is a target, and they must realize the importance of a strong security framework. It will not only protect them from attacks like phishing, ransomware, and data loss but also boost productivity in the long run.


Samuel Sathyajith, Head of India & SAARC Region, Cloudflare

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