Press Trust of india

Shift to work-from-home culture underscores need for new cybersecurity architecture: Pant

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New Delhi:  The emergence of work-from-home culture has triggered fresh dynamics and challenges, and underscored the need for new type of cybersecurity architecture, National Cyber Security Coordinator Rajesh Pant said on Tuesday.

He also emphasised the need for international collaboration, given the borderless nature of cyberattacks.

The accelerated shift to work-from-home and remote work environments have put the spotlight on IT security of end-point equipments at homes, user identity, robustness of home network, cloud services, antivirus, and apps that are being used by individuals.

“The entire system has become distributed. So a new type of cybersecurity architecture is now required for this,” Pant said.

He was speaking at an online discussion on ‘Cyber-resilience in the new normal: risks and new approaches’, organised by cybersecurity company Kaspersky.

Amid a steep rise in internet usage and online financial transactions post March, the government “very quickly adapted” to the new normal, bringing out timely advisories on work from home environment, video conferencing, and other aspects, he said.

The event saw discussions on existing and emerging risks in cyberspace and possible solutions to address them.

Pant said the pandemic has, in a sense, brought in some bit of “deglobalisation” that would impact the fractured cyberspace for some time to come, but this would be a short-term phenomenon.

“…there is a sense of deglobalisation that is taking place. And this is likely to impact the fractured cyberspace for some time to come. But then we have to fall back. I am sure that major countries and major regional forums, the moment they realise that in cyberspace there are no borders, we have to align our services…we will go back to the new normal,” Pant said.

Most nations across the world today have a strategy to deal with the “changing circumstances”.

While different nations have varied perspective on what should be considered as critical infrastructure depending on national interest, the discussion is now shifting to whether any sector can be left out of critical infrastructure tag, he noted.

“What the pandemic has shown us is that with everything going online, and more automation in future…do you defend all your assets with the same amount of seriousness as one had originally planned,” he said.

A key challenge from government’s point of view is how to balance available resources in protecting all the key sectors that one considers critical.

Other challenges are of resources and manpower, and lack of attribution, he said, adding that international collaboration is the need of the hour, given the borderless nature of cyberattacks.

“The way the cyberattacks are coming, with 4-5 hops and the breaking down of our international legal system…It is a bit disheartening…in order to attribute, we definitely need international collaboration. That is also one of biggest challenges,” Pant said.

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