With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decision by nations around the globe to implement a lockdown, business continuity suddenly became the topmost priority for corporate leadership. How has this impacted Indian enterprises? While many aspects of the pandemic experience are shared internationally, there are elements of the situation that are specific to each region. As one example, let’s explore what’s been happening in the Indian business community during this very challenging time.
Using COVID-19 as the primary premise, there are multiple instances of phishing and other malicious attacks making the rounds. In fact, the Internet is flooded with information & misinformation about COVID-19. This new demand for information about the pandemic is being used by various threat actors - including state actors - to their advantage, particularly in the last couple of months.
Additionally, there are new cyber security risks for businesses related to remote workers such as unsecured Wi-Fi networks, use of personal devices and laptops, and employee readiness to the ‘work from home’ culture.
COVID-19 has had an impact on businesses both at the economic and the organizational level.
Impact at the Economic Level¹
Organizations in India have started factoring in the impact of COVID-19 on growth and its effect on GDP. In its April 2020 update, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed India’s growth estimate for the year 2021 to 1.9% - from 5.8% estimated in January. It also projected that the COVID-19 pandemic will shrink world output by 3% in 2020. However, the IMF also mentioned that India and China would be the only two major economies likely to register growth, with all other economies contracting. On the bright side, India’s growth is projected to recover sharply to 7.4% in the next fiscal year.
Impact at the Organizational Level
Given the sudden change in landscape, organizations acted swiftly to ensure business continuity. Even if the lockdowns are eased, many members of the workforce will still continue to operate from home. This might continue until we have a permanent solution for COVID-19.
Employees working from home are connected to the public Internet while connecting to organizational servers and databases. The secure network that was built in your organization, and the security tools monitoring data in transit, have been rendered ineffective. Organizations need to quickly ensure that they address the change, and tweak their business’s cyber security policies to address these new needs.
Critical considerations to ensure secure business continuity include:
Your SOC is the backbone of your security ecosystem. By utilizing automation in your SOC, and using digitized playbooks and customized use cases that are operated and implemented by an AI-enabled chat bot, you can help your organization automate many of your security operation activities.
THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF LOCKDOWN & WHAT THAT MEANS FOR BUSINESS
COVID-19 will definitely change our lives forever with a new working culture, new business cyber security policies, and new threat vectors.
CISOs might have to rethink and reconsider the security assets in their arsenal, while CROs might have to account for new cyber security risks for businesses in their risk registers. IT Heads, Operations head, and Security heads will have to collaborate to enforce security policies at the granular level.
Lockdowns in some regions are just starting to be partially lifted. As the business world adjusts to this new reality, all organizations WILL have to circle back and rework on their long-term cyber security and privacy strategies in order to be prepared for a changing work culture.
For more information about COVID-19’s effects on Indian businesses, join us on May 12th for a webinar hosted by CyberProof India's Head of Cyber Security Business, Anand Trivedi or contact us directly to learn how to deploy security automation solutions for your company.
(1): Source: https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO