cybersecurity: Indian companies seek comprehensive cybersecurity: HPE India CTO Sadasiva Ranganath

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Organisations across sectors in India are having mature conversations on cybersecurity and want a multi-layered and comprehensive “secure-by-design kind of model to be put in place”, the chief technology officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise India said.

“Earlier it was more like a support mode kind where you had some peripheral security, cybersecurity elements being placed. Today we are having very mature conversations with customers. Organisations are now thinking how to put people, processes and technology together and monitor that constantly,” Sadasiva Ranganath told ET in an interview.

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On certain days, HPE records as many as 2.6 billion logged requests and cybersecurity-related events. Cybersecurity, therefore, is no longer a “one-time effort” that companies are putting in, he said.

“Today, I cannot say I have the best of servers with the best of security. That is not good enough. The question is how to build that safety from storage to connectivity to an application or API stack. That becomes important,” he said.

The company blocked an average of 1,060 phishing emails daily with a total of 1 billion email threat vectors blocked during 2022. Though more than 50% of the cybersecurity incidents that were investigated by HPE’s cyber fusion centre were due to user-led actions such as the installation or attempted installation of infected software or running crypto-mining programs and tools, the company’s security controls managed to thwart those, he said.

Banking & financial services, healthcare and government-run companies are more vulnerable to such threats and cybersecurity incidents since these are more profitable in terms of the data that can be stolen or mined. Though the criticality of operations of these sectors and therefore the vulnerability are greater, HPE India does not differentiate when dealing with customers in these areas compared to other not-so-critical sectors, he said.

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India’s overall cybersecurity market is expected to reach $4.16 billion by 2026, growing at a compound annual rate of 13.8% from 2021 to 2026, according to a February 2023 report by market intelligence group IDC.“Security spending is observed more in banking, financial services and manufacturing verticals in relation to other verticals because enterprises became more conscious about protecting critical and sensitive data,” IDC India research manager Sakshi Grover said in the report.

The advent of generative artificial intelligence, while democratising the technology, will also lead to a multi-fold increase in cybersecurity incidents, Ranganath said.

“We are doing a lot of training on how generative AI should be used within organisations. While we have end-to-end bandwidth like several other organisations, we are also saying to our clients that you need to be very cautious. When in doubt, ask people,” he said.

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