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At 'DX Secure Summit' experts reiterate need for MSMEs beef up cyber security

Cyber Raksha Kavach, a security training programme, launched at summit

dx-secure National cyber security coordinator at National Security Council Secretariat Lt. General Rajesh Pant, (centre) at the third edition of 'DX Secure Summit' on in Delhi on Thursday

The country’s cyber security is critical for its growth, but threat to it poses the biggest risk to national security, said Lt. General Rajesh Pant, chief of India’s cyber security, on Thursday, at the third edition of the 'DX Secure Summit', organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry–Tata Communication Centre for Digital Transformation, to address the concerns related to cyber security. THE WEEK was the digital media partner at the event.

Lt General Pant, national cyber security coordinator at the National Security Council Secretariat, emphasised the need for creating awareness, building cyber hygiene and conducting regular audits as key steps to safeguard all sectors—government and private —from threat actors in cyberspace.

The highlight of DX Secure was the launch of Cyber Raksha Kavach, an initiative by CII Tata Communications Centre for Digital Transformation and Microsoft, which is offering a training programme covering multiple modules of cyber security to individuals and Digital Risk Assessment for organisations to enable the industry to learn and strengthen their cyber security practices.

It was observed that even though the industry has progressed phenomenally through digital adoption in the past two years, cyber security remains a challenge, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The country has witnessed digital transformation triggered by the Covid-19, which not only hit the cyber security community hard, but also brought home the need for cyber resilience. At this critical juncture, DX Secure has gained traction as a platform which is witnessing deliberations and bringing crucial solutions in handling emerging risks and cyber security management, which is keenly followed by the industry.

Vijay Thadani, co- chair at CII Centre for Digital Transformation and vice-chairman and managing director, NIIT Ltd, said cyber security is not just about “managing risk,” it is also a “strategic issue that shapes product capability, organisational effectiveness, and customer relationships”. He highlighted the importance of artificial intelligence based solutions that can act as the best mitigating factor. “India should focus on being a solution provider for cyber security,” he stressed.

Today, experts and industry leaders are laying huge emphasis on cyber security preparedness, which has become a necessity for businesses of all sizes, specially the MSMEs, whose systems and networks containing sensitive and valuable data could come under siege by malicious actors.

Ashutosh Chadha, group head and director of government affairs at Microsoft India explained the huge financial implications of cyber crimes. “Breach of cyber security is the biggest threat to digital transformation today. Cyber crimes costs economies more than $6 trillion each year. And that is expected to increase to $10 trillion by 2025,” he said .

Chadha said the need of the hour is to build a culture of security in every industry and company which is why the Cyber Raksha Kavach programme becomes important to empower MSMEs which are a critical driver of the country’s economy. He said cyber security measures taken for MSME’s will be at the centre of accelerating long-term growth and innovation for the sector.

With ever evolving threats from global actors and malicious players, digital threat mitigation too will need constant innovation.

“In the new digital age, security and digital threat mitigation is likely to be an ever - evolving process, and safeguarding every vulnerability to prevent malicious players is crucial. Hence, being thoroughly prepared is the key to safeguarding businesses, assets and people,” said Amit Sinha Roy, vice-president and global head of marketing and communications at Tata Communications Ltd.

The day-long sessions at DX Secure witnessed brainstorming discussions by eminent speakers such as Deepak Talwar , national security officer at Microsoft India Ltd; Mansi Thapar, global head of cyber security at Apollo Tyres; S. Sridhar, vice-president, cloud and security services at Tata Communications Ltd; Kanishk Gaur, founder of India Future Foundation; Rishi Rajpal, director of global security at Concentrix and Neelima Surineedi, senior manager at Dell Technologies and various experts from industry sectors and technology companies.

While Talwar said the real challenge is to provide “chip to cloud security”, that can take care of both software and hardware vulnerabilities, Kanishk said all sectors have been plagued by phishing and Ransomware attacks in the last two years. The experts noted that future of all businesses is moving towards a hybrid system of work where personal and professional identities need to be safeguarded, putting a huge burden as well as cost on companies. This is where digital awareness at the topmost level steps in, said Sridhar explaining that there is a bigger playing field for threat actors today.

“There is no one size fits all,” he said, spelling out the need for not just increased information technology budgets for cyber security, but constant engagements and learnings like the one offered by DX Secure that is bringing the much-needed collaboration among all stakeholders on cyber security.