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Mitigating Data Breaches in the Digital Era with SaaS Solutions

The magnitude of cyber threats continues to grow with the increasing amount of data being hosted in cloud environments. According to the IBM Security Study, the economic consequences of India’s average data breach is at a record high of Rs 17.6 crore in 2022. Today the cost of data breaches goes beyond potential fines, resulting in a catastrophic impact on the company’s financial, reputational, and operational aspects, significant to the survival and competitiveness of businesses. To mitigate this impact, the Indian government has begun re-evaluating how it regulates cybersecurity by introducing new compliance and regulatory laws. However, as the wave of compromised personal data is growing significantly with incidents revolving around unauthorized access, organisations need to take steps to protect cloud-hosted databases and be prepared for a potential breach event to maintain cyber resiliency.

Understanding the present threat

Risks associated with information security threats increase minute by minute. Bad actors with malicious intent are continuously evolving their strategies and attempting increasingly creative and sophisticated security breaches. The constant potential threat of cyberattacks and security breaches can be taxing on IT teams and organisations that need vigilance, resources, talent, and educational resources just to stay ahead.

The number of potential attackers is also expanding to include not only independent attackers and small groups, but also state-sponsored hacking organisations that are much better organized and funded. These larger groups can afford to devote multiple resources to breaching the defenses of small and large organisations over a long period of time—a level of commitment attackers once reserved only for the most strategic targets.

Unless an organisation maintains an environment that prohibits any external Internet access, odds are the corporation has already suffered a successful attack of some type, even if it’s something as simple as the unauthorized release of some personal data. As former Cisco CEO John Chambers once put it, “There are only two kinds of companies: Those that were hacked and those that don’t yet know they were hacked.”

This isn’t the internal IT organisation’s fault. Today’s business environment demands a level of agility and efficiency that requires organisations to open their networks in ways that would have been unimaginable until recently. That openness, while essential for keeping a business competitive, has made the job of maintaining a secure network even more difficult.

Defending the company against security breaches and malicious attacks

SaaS solutions offer a safe, secure environment to protect an organisation’s digital resources. In a SaaS solution environment, infrastructure and application security are managed by the service provider, whose dedicated resources can continuously monitor systems for security breaches and threats. This, in turn, enables a faster response to any potential problem or identified security risk.

Industry-leading cloud service providers invest millions of dollars every year on their internal security measures, including training and tools to analyze existing services and constant updates to multiple levels of protection (including network- and host-based detection and protection).

According to US-based cyber security firm Norton, India witnessed over 18 million cyberattacks and threats in the first three months of 2022, with an average of nearly 200,000 threats every day and 60,000 phishing attempts. Data privacy has become a considerable concern and tackling such crippling security breaches requires organisations to proactively predict future security threats. The ability of industry-leading cloud providers to safeguard their customers’ valuable data requires investments and available resources that most organisations cannot afford. Moving to a cloud service can thus allow an organisation to isolate and protect its internal networks and the valuable data it stores on internal systems.

In the current era of end-to-end value chain collaboration, third-party vendors and suppliers often require integration with an organisation’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. If that ERP system is hosted in a cloud service, vendors and suppliers will never need to connect to the organisation’s internal network. As a result, multi-tenant cloud customers enjoy less risk because security and uptime are dramatically better when managed by world-class experts.

A cloud environment is only as secure as the weakest link in its security chain. Employing a “defense-in-depth” strategy provides multiple layers of overlapping security to safeguard customer data through each link of the chain. These security controls enforced by a team of specialists continuously monitor and improve security posture to stay ahead of threats and vulnerabilities. Adopting SaaS solutions can thus help businesses keep up with the scale, speed, and complexity of today’s cybersecurity threats, protect organizations’ digital assets, prevent data breaches, and mitigate potential reputational losses.

(The author is Mr. Murali Manohar, Senior Director and General Manager, India Subcontinent, Infor and the views expressed in this article are his own)

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