Digitisation is now an important part of every sector and a major amount of acceleration in this regard was induced with the pandemic. While digital inclination is helping solve problems, it is also unwilling giving rise to cyber frauds especially in the BFSI sector. Rashi Aditi Ghosh of Elets News Network (ENN) interacted with Alok Bansal, Managing Director, Visionet Systems India and Global Head BFSI Business to understand the changing landscape of cybersecurity and the needed combat mechanism.
Topic – Concern in rise of ransomware attacks in the IT and BFSI sector
Q1. What are your thoughts on the skyrocketing number of ransomware attacks in India’s tech sector?
Insidious ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly frequent within various sectors including healthcare, information technology, manufacturing and financial organizations. The tech industry in particular can be debilitated by disrupted supply chains and it is absolutely essential to develop tools and fortify systems so that intrinsic vulnerabilities cannot be exploited by attackers. Once a malware strain breaches a firewall, hackers can even block an entire organisation’s access to sensitive data and demand huge amounts of ransom to give the keys back, so to speak, to a company’s IT infrastructure. We have to be prepared to take on these dangers and protect the interests of our clients and organization.
Q2. What measures should cybersecurity improve to prevent ransomware attacks?
The increasing dependence of the BFSI sector on digitally-connected systems, makes it vulnerable to cyber-attacks. We are no longer living in a world where cyber security can be an afterthought and instead of a knee-jerk reaction when a breach occurs, it is important to anticipate a threat and avert it well in time with the help of bolstered security, detection tools, updated applications/operating systems, data backups, antivirus software and suites, cyber insurance covers etc. A recovery plan should be in place along with strategic response teams that can spring into action the moment a threat is detected. No company can afford to be at the mercy of extortionists and ransomware attackers or risk losing critical data to those who can misuse it and cause untold harm.
Q3. How can the BFSI sector implement strong authentication against these attacks?
Any industry that deals with huge financial transactions is vulnerable to attackers and one of the first areas they try to find loopholes in is authentication. Authentication processes build the foundation of the BFSI industry and the safety of sensitive data and large sums of money depend on their accuracy. Post the pandemic, the BFSI industry had to largely depend on digital channels for transactions, and security concerns became more urgent than ever before. The only way to counter increasing cyber-attacks today is to create multi-factor authentication processes, weed out unsafe work practices, implement an impenetrable cyber security policy, and put in place strong verification protocols and identity proofing methods. Cracking a password or pin should not be enough for a hacker to gain control of copious amounts of data. Fraud prevention tools also go a long way in flagging dangers before any harm is done. Following RBI guidelines and IRDA guidelines related to the cyber security framework and insurance sector respectively can also offer clarity.
Q4. What steps should the IT and BFSI sectors implement to strengthen their IT infrastructure?
Post the pandemic, it is more important than ever for the banking, finance, and insurance sector to get on the digital highway, update outmoded systems, manage cyber threats, plug data breaches, adapt to an ever-evolving digital landscape, cater to a borderless customer base and foresee the opportunities and challenges that future will bring with the help of information technology. By using AI, different cloud deployment models, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and smart tools that process data without human intervention, businesses can cultivate technological resilience, affordability, and reliability and also gain a competitive edge.