Enhancing Cyber-Security Leveraging Cyber Hygiene

“We should start by ensuring basic cyber hygiene across the nation. We need to accord cybersecurity the same amount of attention and resources that we give to disaster management and physical asset protection”, asserted Vinod Kumar, CEO, Subex Ltd. in conversation with Poulami Chakraborty of BW SmartCitiesWorld. Excerpts below:

Would you share with us the overall scenario of the cybersecurity market in India and its need in Indian enterprise business, BFSI sector and Government segment too?

Cybersecurity is an ongoing priority for all sectors. BFSI has been at the forefront of all risk management efforts for a while and cybersecurity is a key component of this approach. With hackers focusing on monetizing breaches across transactions, banks have been constantly evolving and adapting their cybersecurity practices to counter hackers and groups with malicious intent. 

At the state and central government levels also there is a renewed focus on cybersecurity and soon we will be seeing policies being framed to strengthen aspects such as data security, privacy, digital identity protection, and transactional security. We are clearly entering an era of cybersecurity and cyber resilience.  

With recent several incidents of cyber breach and compromise of sensitive information in BFSI, Enterprise and government segment in India, what Steps do you advise India as a country should take to secure its critical infrastructure?

We should start by ensuring basic cyber hygiene across the nation. We need to accord cybersecurity the same amount of attention and resources that we give to disaster management and physical asset protection. You see with physical attacks, the adversary has to cross several layers of protection to reach their goal. The adversary also has to be in physical proximity but no such rules apply to cyberattacks. Which is why we need to change focus and bring in a new perspective towards handling our cybersecurity needs. 

More awareness will help and so will greater appreciation of the threat environment that surrounds us. Subex has started publishing state of IoT security reports to bring attention to this matter. We expect all stakeholders to use the data points presented in this report along with their own findings to finetune their cybersecurity initiatives.   

Please elucidate to us about the several solutions that Subex offers for the Government’s mandate for Smart Cities and Digital Transformation.

We have a robust set of solutions around securing smart cities and critical projects connected with digital transformation or associated infrastructure. Our solutions secure data provide early detection of threats and also help address and mitigate various risks post-detection.  By address I mean the threats can be isolated for further studies to improve an organization’s ability to adopt an appropriate posture to defeat these threats and the actors behind them. 

What challenges do you face while operating in the Indian market? What methods of mitigation do you adopt to address these challenges?

The market here is at a niche stage and we are working towards raising awareness on the need to improve our cyber defenses. We are today running the world’s largest IoT and OT focused honeypot and our threat intelligence gathering ability is unsurpassed in the industry and we wish to use it secure all kinds of projects across verticals in India. Traditionally, when we refer to cybersecurity the elements of cybersecurity are not covered or are not given adequate attention. Which is why we need to expand the scope of cybersecurity to cover these elements and address their vulnerabilities. We are working in this field as well. 

What new business strategies is Subex adopting to run in Indian market to sustain the stiff competition?

With our threat intelligence and our deep expertise across verticals, we are in a league of our own. We are open to collaboration though. We are also expanding our R&D capacitity locally to cater to the unique cyber threats and malware that we are detecting here.   

What plans of expansion are you having in mind?

We are growing and expanding our capabilities to take on new threats that are emerging on the horizon all the time. We continue to grow across geographies and industries as well.  We are constantly enhancing our vertical and territory coverage while playing our part in evolving and nurturing an entire eco-system around addressing existing and emerging cybersecurity priorities. We are also working with academic institutions to help nurture talent around cybersecurity.