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Defending the digital estate and building trust is need of the hour

Internet in these current times, when everyone is Working from Home has become very prominent to solve complex problems and for getting the world closer through collaboration platf­orms, online communi­cation, digital transactions, e-commerce, exchange of emails and so on. Though not every employee is at home, many connect from their essential services warehouse, medical labs, hospitals, factories, and many such locations which, in the past were not seen as work desks.

Current scenario across the world focuses on best possible healthcare infrastructure, facilities where technology is at its core. Its the tech community at large that has kept the world moving forward and those who were not prepared for transformations like cloud adoption, as one example, struggled to keep up with their business needs. The current unprecedented time not only taught us what is important to life, but also how to face the challenges and adopt the technology that can help us better reach the unreachable.

It is also alarming to witness all types of possible attacks as cyber security threats, nation-state cyber attacks, Denial-of-Service, identity theft, cyber frauds, business email compromise, ransomwares, and email phishing that exploded the world with nail-biting security incident management issues, which triggered every now and then, and then looking for root cause to minimise attack surface areas.

This entire unstable environment highlighted one big question – Are we safe, and who to trust to access internet securely. Deep thinking came to, whether organisations should focus on their business priorities and family situations in COVID times or take stress handling ransomwares, phishing, losing digital identify to cyber criminals. Who would own the responsibility for their data, privacy, critical assets, and security?

This is when Digital Trust took a sharp curve and since then has seen its peak and inflection points in recent times, while millions of users were hunting to find medical facilities on the internet medium. Queries like Where can I find an oxygen cylinder, or a nearest ICU bed, a hospital to save critical COVID loved-ones and many more life threatening conditions, time bound searches and overwhelming digital estate.

The Trust was further shaken, when users from the Internet identified best possible options to save lives but later discovered that they were not legitimate, were fake news, fake alarms, non-availability of critical equipment and sometimes even paid the amount online, only it was to cyber criminals and they had become a victim of cyber frauds.

Cyber criminals are playing their games 24×7 to find the weakest links to lure people when they seek requirements like medical facilities, are tracking online transactions, acces­sing personal details. And thus adding thousands of attacks and sheer loss of identity cases, brand loss, financial losses and legalities for corporates who paid penalties, ending up in broken trust by their partners, customers, community and board of the organisation.

Another area to look at is Attribution-A complex topic, as a simple data breach may get some level of root cause analysis but who did it and how to trace back to put them behind bars is not a cake-walk. There are many such incidents, where the attacks to any perpetrator have still not been attributed to anybody.

In conclusion, there is a need to empower employees, foster a new culture of hybrid work, engage with customers as a trusted advisor, helping them adopt new ways intelligently and virtually transforming products and services with new business models, and optimizing operations to keep customers and employees safe and secure. There is an opportunity to re-think and re-build a trustworthy ecosystem with integrated security approach, under­standing shared responsibility as who owns what in technology and keep the environment secure. It should be further strengthened by best practices like zero trust approach, creating skilled workforce, bring awareness while reiterating that security is everyone’s responsibility.

Its time to leverage the two superpowers, AI and Automation. We must build trust in technology and its use, spanning privacy, security, and responsible use of transparency.

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