Cybersecurity Isn’t Just for Large Enterprises

Debasish Mukherjee

If you think that a small enterprise is relatively free from cybercriminals or that the enterprise can safely fly under their radar, think again. For, there is as much or a greater chance that cyberattacks are directed towards the small and medium enterprises in the modern digital age as they too offer information and data that makes such cyberattacks worthwhile.

“It is no more a priority just for large scale businesses as cyber-criminal do not discriminate the ones who are to be victimized,” said Debashish Mukherjee, Country Director, India & SAARC, SonicWall, in an exclusive interview with CXO Today. “Neither businesses can be optional about opting security measures nor can be security providers in providing solutions,” he says.

SonicWall has been fighting cybercriminals for over twenty-eight years defending small and medium businesses, enterprises and government agencies worldwide. For enterprises of all sizes, it may be a good time to put their cybersecurity on top priority.

Emphasizing the importance of cybersecurity for every business today, Mukherjee says security providers such as SonicWall can not be biased in its solutions. For instance, a doctor gives the same medicine for fever, be it a rich patient or a poor. “From SMB to enterprise, the platform, features and functionalities of our solutions are same. The only difference comes with the scalability.”

Key Cybersecurity Trends

While conversing with us, Debashish gave us some insights into key trends in the cybersecurity space. He says, “As technologies are getting smarter, so are the cyber criminals.” Some of the key trends he highlights include:

  • Increase in Ransomware Attacks: While global malware volume is down twenty percent, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers found a fifteen percent increase in ransomware attacks globally. The researchers accredit this to criminals’ new preference of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) and open-source malware kits.
  • Increase in IoT Attacks: As businesses and consumers continue to connect devices to the internet without proper security measures, IoT devices have been increasingly leveraged by cybercriminals to dispense malware payloads. In the first half of 2019, SonicWall observed a fifty five percent increase in IoT attacks, a number that outpaces the first two quarters of the previous year.
  • Attacks Against Non-Standard Ports: Cybercriminals have their sights set on non-standard ports for web traffic as a manner to deliver their payloads undetected. Based on a sample size of more than 210 million malware attacks recorded through June 2019, Capture Labs monitored the largest spike on record since tracking the vector when one quarter of malware attacks came across non-standard ports in May 2019 alone.
  • Attacks via traditional PDFs and Office Files: Traditional PDFs and Office files continue to be routinely leveraged to exploit users’ trust and experience to deliver malicious payloads. In February and March 2019, SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers found that fifty-one per cent and forty-seven per cent of ‘never-before-seen’ attacks, respectively, came via PDFs or Office files.

Major Victims

“Wherever there is money, there is the maximum risk of cyber-attacks. Hence, today, the maximum risk of cyber-attacks lies in the government, financial and educational sector as they hold the maximum money. However, if you look at the kind of attacks, these are increasing on an individual level as well. If this trend is scrutinized further, the attacks are increasing for SMBs because of the skill set issue and vulnerability that cyber attackers take advantage of,” says Mukherjee.

“Bigger enterprises are more prepared in comparison to SMBs,” he says and suggests that this problem can only be solved if those in SMB sector is educated about the travails of poor cybersecurity. SonicWall has taken the initiative of establishing the virtual SonicWall University where various modules from basic to advanced levels are available. It is a mandatory process for the internal employees to go through the course and appear for exams so that they are up-to-speed with the required technology. The same applies for partners as well and it is mandatory for them to clear the tests and get certified.

Mukherjee says India is one of the priority countries for SonicWall, given the massive business opportunities that the country presents. The company plans to enhance its investment, given that the country provides a good hub for talent.

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