Rethinking Smart Technologies to ensure Cybersecurity in the Post-Pandemic Era

Ramneek Kalra, IEEE Member | Wednesday, 09 February 2022, 14:08 IST

The COVID-19 pandemic has evidently caused a dent in the socio-economic trends across the globe. It brought upon an unprecedented acceleration in digitization and technological evolution and subsequently gave rise to a `new normal'. As a result, industries and individuals, have had to promptly respond and adapt to the shifting trends. They had to rethink their business strategies by adopting digital trends like zero contact communication, cashless transactions, healthtech, and remote working, among others. These trends will only continue and be more rampant in the coming year. A recent IBM study revealed that 55 percent of Indian executives plan to expedite their prioritization of digital transformation efforts over the next two years.

While the rate of this evolution is quite unpredictable and unprecedented, it is certain that these changes will continue to persist in a post pandemic world and will be the most important drivers of digital transformation.

However, as digitization picks up speed, the vulnerability of potential attacks also increases giving rise to a greater number of access points for fraudsters. Therefore, cybersecurity and privacy protection are matters of significant concern.

“As the next generation of cyberattacks becomes more sophisticated, organizations today have a greater responsibility than ever to protect those with access to critical data”

According to the data released by the CERT India ministry, India has experienced a 300 percent rise in cyberattacks amid COVID-19 in 2020. The ministry linked the surge to the increased online activity as a result of remote work coupled with the lack of awareness around cybersecurity, which has created gaps in the remote infrastructure. Simultaneously, many businesses have incurred heavy financial losses, disrupted workflows, loss of sensitive and personal data, and overall damaged reputations due to cyberattacks.

With digital adoption breaking ground, cyber maturity must keep pace with technological strides it is time for businesses to rethink smart technologies to ensure cybersecurity in the post pandemic era. Businesses must increase trust and investment in advanced technologies like AI, IoT, ML, and blockchain to enable a resilient and robust cybersecurity infrastructure.

Let's look at the top smart technologies that can be leveraged to ensure cybersecurity:

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Implementing AI and ML algorithms will enable systems to collect data and evaluate processes and activities to create an automated decision making system. This system can proactively monitor and predict any suspicious activity and take predictive measures thereby providing protection against a wide range of malicious activities even before they have a chance to enter the system.

2. Blockchain: Blockchain is one of the strongest cybersecurity technologies that is gaining prominence now. This technology offers simultaneous authentication and resolution of a single point of attack. Companies can leverage blockchain in their security system and infrastructure to authenticate devices and users at the same time. Coupled with AI, this technology can ensure a robust authenticated verification system to prevent potential cyber attacks.

3. Zero Trust Model: Zero Trust is a security model that ensures authentication and authorization of all users of an organization's enterprise network and continuous validation of the security configuration and posture before granting or keeping access to applications and data. This model is a multilayer approach that entails new security protocols that all businesses should implement into practice. Adopting a zero trust security architecture will help companies in managing any cybersecurity incidents.

As the next generation of cyberattacks becomes more sophisticated, organizations today have a greater responsibility than ever to protect those with access to critical data. You need the right people, combined with the right processes and most importantly smart technologies, to contain an attack and mitigate any threat, regardless of the source, type of attack, or time of day.