Opinion

How Indian enterprises can revisit their data breach prevention plan

Indian enterprises had to pay a hefty price for data breach this year. Here are few lessons on how to avoid the vulnerability by reorganizing the entire strategy around data breach, says Jamuna Swamy, Global Head-Cybersecurity Resilience Practice at Hexaware Technologies.

Jamuna Swamy Oct 21st 2016 A-A+

Indian security landscape and the threats that plague it always give you a sense of déjà vu. The lessons derived from it too are tricky and at times redundant, thanks to evolving attacks. Perhaps that is why data breach is a costly lesson for enterprises and it is an indication to take cybersecurity seriously. 

This year, Indian enterprises incurred a cost of Rs 9.73 crore due to data breaches, states a study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute. This stat also pins India as the most targeted country in the world for data breaches. Reasserting this fact is the latest and biggest breach in the Indian banking industry, which compromised 32 lakh debit cards.

Indian business can learn from these breaches how vulnerable they are and how they need to mitigate this risk.

Risk assessment is the key factor in identifying vulnerabilities. Enterprises can immediately do a risk assessment to identify the areas of threat exposures. The next step would be to come up with an action plan to mitigate the risks identified.

Large businesses cannot get away by doing a one-time hygiene check on their systems. There should be continuous monitoring of security alerts and abnormalities, and user behavior within the intranet of the organization. It can help enterprises quarantine and contain risks.

Also read: Data Breaches: Is Prevention Practical?

Most importantly, continuous awareness of security threats can be imparted to all stakeholders of the organization. It is a proactive measure to secure the business from all possible angles.

(Re) organizing the prevention plan

Identifying the breaches is just step one of the hygiene. Rectifying them is a tougher task, as it has to be dealt with precision and on a war footing.

Once the breach is identified, here is what can be done:

First, take temporary corrective step to stop further compromise. Though long term measures are necessary, immediate correction is of prime importance.

Read more: A deeper look at business impact of a cyberattack

Next is a courageous step. Communicate to the relevant stakeholders about the breach and at the same time do not create panic.

Once you have your corrections in place, you get a breather. Now, invest time in undertaking a complete analysis of the root cause of the problem and come up with a permanent solution. Implement the permanent solution and communicate the same to all the relevant stakeholders.

Jamuna Swamy is Global Head-Cybersecurity Resilience Practice of Hexaware Technologies. She is also on the advisory board of CSOonline.in.

(As told to Vaishnavi J Desai)