Cyber Security: What’s the Big Deal about It?

Over the years, criminals have gotten more sophisticated and the internet, coupled with advanced information & communication technology (ICT) tools, has expanded the scope of these activities exponentially. With easy access to wide varieties of data, the frequency and complexity of cybercrimes has increased at a significant rate. According to a United Nations (UN) report on cybercrime, hackers are placing attacks on computers and networks at a near-constant rate, averaging around one attack every 39 seconds. Aside from compromising data privacy, cybercrimes carry a hefty economic cost as well. For instance, the same UN report postulates that cybercrimes cost the world approximately USD 600 billion in 2018, affecting nearly 67% of the world’s internet users. 

An even more worrying trend observed in some of the recent cyber-attacks was the disruption caused to essential services in some countries. The WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017 crippled the operations of the UK’s National Health Service and stalled activities of some of the Russian government’s ministries and departments. Cybercrime, therefore, is a constant, looming threat and needs to be dealt with adeptly. Tech companies are working continuously to provide comprehensive solutions to the business world to counter the growing menace of crimes of such nature. Let’s take a look at some of the key industry developments.

ElevenPaths and Fortinet Expand Cyber Security Partnership

Fortinet, the California-based cyber security specialist, and ElevenPaths, the cyber security arm of Telefonica Tech based in Spain, announced in June 2020 that they will be expanding their partnership to develop and offer next-gen managed security services to end-users. Focusing on customers from the industrial sector, the two entities will be providing solutions for their Internet of Things (IoT), information technology (IT), and operation technology (OT) environments. Under the collaboration, ElevenPaths will be able to access Fortinet’s Security Fabric solutions designed for industrial control systems to cater to the surging demand from organizations for protection of their IT and OT environments. 

Covid and the Unprecedented Spike in Cyber Attacks

While the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, hackers are busy infiltrating and extracting critical data. In April 2020, for example, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 450 of its active emails and passwords were leaked online along with numerous others associated with the coronavirus. In India, according to K7 Computing, a cyber-security company, COVID-related cyber-attacks spiked by 260% across the country in the form of fake Android apps and phishing emails. As the pandemic has forced social distancing worldwide, work from home has suddenly become the norm across most organizations. Unfortunately, the home-office environment also suffers from heightened vulnerability to cyber-attacks. For example, companies extensively utilize virtual private networks (VPNs) to ensure data security. However, with people working remotely, companies have had to extend these networks to their employees outside the company premises, exposing them to hackers in the process. The need for efficient cyber-security has never been more greatly felt than now, when the coronavirus is wreaking havoc across the globe. 

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