tech

India’s IT must better its immunity in the Covid-19 era, an overview

India’s digital growth cannot be complete without empowering IT with cutting edge technologies such as Hybrid Cloud, AI, Blockchain, and more. Here’s an overview. 

Cybersecurity is the need of hour
Cybersecurity is the need of hour (pixabay)

Everybody is going online. The global pandemic has forced individuals and firms around the world to adapt to a new manner of living where least physical contact happens. Digitisation has a great many benefits. In India alone, thousands of SMBs are joining the online space for the first time. The road to a fully optimised digitisation, however, is not and cannot be without addressing the challenge of cybersecurity.

A need for robust cybersecurity has been discussed at length at various forums. Some of the common takeaways are – 1. Yes, we need to have strong cybersecurity. 2. We must embrace cutting edge technology such as AI and ML for this purpose. 3. The investment in cybersecurity has to go up. 4. It should be democratised to reach every business and individual on the planet.

For India, cybersecurity finds far greater relevance than anywhere else in the world. India is one of the biggest internet markets in the world with over 560 million internet users. This is when the internet penetration is not even 100% yet. The large user base also makes it a hot target for cybercriminals around the world. India has remained one of the most cyber-attacked countries in the world.

India’s IT space will have to work to build a strong immune system as neither cyberattacks are going to go down nor new loopholes will not be exploited.

An overview of ransomware attacks and IT response
An overview of ransomware attacks and IT response (Acronis)

According to IT industry veteran and founder and CEO of cyber protection firm Acronis, Serguei Beloussov, the Covid-19 did not really change the cybersecurity scenario but it did help all of us be aware that we are fully dependent on digital infrastructure. He added that the pandemic also helped everyone realise that the data protection must be local, next to the user.

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“Before the Covid-19, there was time and money. The pandemic wiped out time and money. Many businesses are focusing on survival and they do not have the bandwidth to use complicated security tools,” he added.

Beloussov also clarified that you cannot guarantee 100% security. There can be more safe or less safe, he said.

Comparing the need for hybrid cloud and cybersecurity with the biological immune system, Beloussov said, “Hybrid cloud helps you achieve a balance. The technology helps you retain some data locally as well as with cloud partners… Your immune system is spread all over the body… Your immune system is autonomous. You cannot cut out one piece of your immune system. Same is with the IT, it has to be distributed across all over you. It has to be the next to you. Hybrid cloud is the right solution. Hybrid cloud helps get benefits of being on the cloud infrastructure such as scalability and performance. It is dynamic as well as very secure.”

He also pointed out the need for the usage of blockchain for a robust cyber protection ecosystem. “The technology helps build the ability to make something that is authentic. We use blockchain as well in our products as we enable our partner customers to sign any digital letter. And we store the signature in the blockchain in order to be able to check if it was modified later by somebody else. AI, ML and blockchain are the tools to make IT better. Without AI or blockchain, you cannot resolve some of the problems.”

Beloussov’s comments very accurately describe the ground reality in India. A Cisco India Digital Maturity Study 2020 said that SMBs in India are increasingly investing in cloud technology. It added that security and up-gradation of IT hardware are among the top investment priorities for the SMBs in the country.

Cisco India Digital Maturity Study 2020 says digitisation of SMBs could contribute $158 to $216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024.
Cisco India Digital Maturity Study 2020 says digitisation of SMBs could contribute $158 to $216 billion to India’s GDP by 2024. (Cisco)

According to the study, 68% of Indian SMBs are looking to digitally transform and grow, while 60% recognise that competition is transforming and they must keep pace, and 50% seek digital transformation due to customer demand for change.

It is worth noting that SMBs, large enterprises, and individuals alike need to move over the approaches that are now very much archaic. A renewed focus must entail all key vectors of cyber protection such as safety, accessibility, privacy, the security of data, and authenticity.

How soon the change will come about is very difficult to predict. But evidently, there is a renewed interest from the IT industry in cyber protection and solutions. And that is good news.