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Tech majors step up to secure hybrid workforce

While in-office and remote collaboration have become the norm across organizations in a post-covid world, hybrid work comes with its own set of cyber security challenges. Increased risks to sensitive information and data have become a primary concern, and tech majors are leading the fight to address the challenges.

A Forrester study found that while 80% of Indian firms are planning to adopt hybrid work in the next 12-24 months, 71% of security leaders did not have high or complete visibility into the remote employees’ home networks, raising huge security concerns.

The complex structure of a hybrid work model, comprising multiple clouds, networks, devices and endpoint has widened the digital attack surface, Huzefa Motiwala, director of systems engineering, SAARC and India, Palo Alto Networks, said. “Swapping between them while they remain a part of the corporate network, can leave enterprises vulnerable to such attacks. Too many of these can make developing a cybersecurity strategy a complex affair, while weak remote access policies and implicit trust on devices make it easy for bad actors to gain entry and orchestrate a breach,” he added.

Considering the increased risks, networking majors have launched services to secure all access points of an organization’s applications and infrastructure. For instance, Cisco’s Zero Trust platform is a security model based on maintaining strict access controls, not trusting anyone by default.

“Unlike traditional security, the protection offered by Zero Trust is not based solely on the location. It makes sure only the right people and devices have the permissions to access specific data at specified times. We also have a Secure Hybrid Work solution, which unifies protection at scale and makes it easy for users to verify devices, enable secure access, and always defend hybrid workers from any location,” said Minhaj Zia, director, collaboration sales, Cisco India and SAARC.

IBM has also adopted a Zero Trust strategy that offers effective access control to balance trust and risk. “We leverage IBM Security Software solutions that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyse key parameters like user, device, activity, environment and behaviour to determine holistic risk scores. This analysis drives more accurate, contextual authentication decisions to better protect both business and user experience,” said Prashant Bhatkal, security software sales leader, IBM Technology Sales, India and South Asia.

According to Dell Technologies Global Data Protection Index, businesses lack the ability to manage mission-critical data as they are now handling 10 times more data than they were five years ago.

“With an increase in data, the need to manage business processes across multiple networks has significantly risen. Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to ensure seamless management of data with customized cybersecurity infrastructure solutions. With the increase in entry points for malicious actors coupled with the rise of sophisticated ransomwares, malwares and leaks in sensitive information, the loss of mission-critical data can cripple an organization, retarding their growth in the digital era,” said Ripu Bajwa, director and general manager, data protection solutions, Dell Technologies India. Livemint

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