Netrika Consulting Brings Solutions To Corporates In Regards To Increasing Cyberattacks In India

Netrika Consulting in India’s growing digital era discusses the importance of investigators and their importance in new age businesses. One of the leading players in security and risk management shed further light on corporate security and risk consulting

Sanjay Kaushik, Managing Director of Netrika Consulting, is a recognised expert in Anti Counterfeit Strategies, Corporate Security Consulting, Risk Assessment, Investigations, Anti-Fraud investigations, with over 23 years of experience including working as Chief Operating Officer of one of the largest Risk Consulting Firms. Sanjay Kaushik shares his views on cyber-security in India with Bhaktvatsal Sharma, Correspondent, BW Businessworld. 

How prone are Indian businesses to cyber-attacks and how prepared are they to deal with the challenge?

India has one of the highest incidences of cyber-attacks in the world second only to the USA. In 2017 a cybercrime was reported every 10 minutes which is higher than the crime rate of 2016 - a crime every 12 minutes. While a majority of these attacks have so far been a defacement of websites which are relatively harmless apart from causing loss of face and embarrassment to the target, more serious cases of phishing, malicious codes and malware propagation are on the rise. A vast majority of Indian businesses have been a victim of IT breaches in the past, from ransomware to phishing and malware attacks Indian businesses have seen it all. Our recent survey found that corporates are seriously underprepared with 65% of participating organisations lacking a dedicated IT department to manage network security. Also, spending on cyber-security is lagging with 49% of respondents spending less than 10% of their IT budget on cyber security.

What are the key reasons for the rising incidences of cyber-attacks and what types of attacks must one be on the lookout for?

Our Cyber Security Preparedness Survey 2018 highlights the key reason behind increasing incidences of cyber-attacks as the lack of a robust IT security system in organisations. The survey uncovers a surprising lack of dedicated staffs to man IT and network security in many organisations. Only 18% of organisations with more than 25 employees are found to have a dedicated IT staff while 21% of all organisations covered in the survey do not have dedicated IT staff. Another key factor is the lack of awareness and staffs failing to follow basic hygiene at workplace. Something as basic as verifying website address, clicking on suspicious links or attachments and responding to unsolicited e-mails often containing too good to be true offers and lottery wins etc.

Humans are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain and companies must, therefore, invest in cybersecurity training and promote awareness among its employees. If employees are not properly trained then all the investments on installing the best equipment’s, firewalls and systems can simply go in vain. Ransomware attacks pose a great security risk as it can completely block system access or access to critical and personal data with the overhanging threat of being locked out forever or of personal or sensitive commercial data being leaked. Social engineering is another type of attack that poses a grave security risk and can have a profound impact on businesses. The recent case of hackers swindling a vast amount of money from the Indian arm of an Italian MNC by spoofing the e-mail account of its CEO highlights the risk posed by social engineering.

Considering the highly competitive jobs market in the country, how important is background checks for organisations to stay on the growth path?

For any organisation, its people are its greatest assets. The quality of this asset has a bearing on the organisation operations and its ability to achieve the goals it has set for itself. It, therefore, is important that the organisation invest in hiring not only the best available talent but also in hiring the right candidate for the job. But in a scenario where talent is limited, recruiters and HR face the uphill task of finding and attracting the right talent in a process that is often compared to war.

Background check plays a critical role by ensuring that the candidate is what s/he claims to be. By verifying the antecedents, educational records, and work experiences, a professional background check generates valuable inputs that empower employers to make the right call. The due diligence of background checks can also unearth crucial information that can help organisations avoid being inadvertently exposed to the risk of frauds and malpractices perpetrated by its own employees.

What other roles can investigators play in the corporate world?

Along with background checks and fraud investigation and prevention, professional consulting and investigation companies can play a key role in the resolution of business disputes. In a corporate world where outsourcing, vendors and franchisees have become the mainstay there is a high probability of dispute. In a dispute, the onus is on the contending parties to prove or disprove the allegations for a quicker resolution. An independent agency that can undertake an unbiased investigation and gather verifiable evidence can help in avoiding lengthy litigations and cut expenses on longwinded court battles. In addition, a third-party professional investigator can uncover the intent behind the move and also come in as an independent witness if the need arises.

The most important role investigators and investigating agencies can play is in spreading awareness on the risks of cyber-attacks and providing relevant trainings and know-how on how to safely mitigate those risks.

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