Pandemic urged 89 per cent of Indian IT Leaders to protect organizational data from ransomware: new survey

Druva Inc., a India-based company specializing in cloud data protection and management, found in a survey that highlights the rising concerns among Indian businesses about data protection, the growing need to enhance resilience, and the role data agility plays in enabling organizational operations and connecting with customers. 

The company’s inaugural 2020 Value of Data Report global survey offers insights from over 1,000 IT decision makers (ITDMs) in India, the US and UK, and underpins the importance of maximizing the value of data as businesses continue to navigate an unprecedented worldwide situation. 

Of the more than 300 ITDMs surveyed in India, approximately one third (31 percent) report an increase in ransomware attacks on the organization since the pandemic began, and overall 89 percent of ITDMs being more concerned now with protecting their organizational data from ransomware than before the pandemic. However, 44 percent of organizations do not have the data they collect readily available when needed for decision making.

With data being created, stored, and shared in more ways than ever before, IT leaders in India are confronted with unprecedented challenges. The survey reveals that protecting data from outside threats, unauthorised internal access and ensuring business resiliency are becoming key priorities for organisations as they accelerate their cloud migration and digital transformation plans.

 Other key India findings: 

  • Accelerated digital transformation – 76 percent of respondents said that their digital transformation plans have accelerated due to the pandemic.
  • Expanding threat surface – since the pandemic began 42 percent reported an increase in video conferencing attacks, malware (40 percent), phishing (35 percent), user error / accidental tampering or deletion (32 percent) and insider attack (31 percent)
  • Data Recovery a concern – 67 percent reported that the time to recover data is still an issue and has increased since the pandemic  
  • Data access crucial for business survival – 25 percent reported that their company can only go 3 to 4 hours without access to data before causing serious harm to their business

“The pandemic, and possibilities of an emergence in the coming months, has forced organizations across India to re-evaluate the health of their data, potential security vulnerabilities, and their level of preparedness”, said Milind Borate, Co-founder and Chief Development Officer, Druva. “The ability to unlock the value of data, rapidly adapt to changing demands, and delight customers will increasingly be determined by their cloud strategy. Cloud data protection plays a pivotal role in this journey, and  Druva Cloud Platform is designed to help organizations accelerate their digital transformation, while ensuring data security and compliance. 

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Philippines telecom market powers through in spite of COVID-19

In April, W.Media reported that due to COVID-19, the Philippines’ newest telecom company, DITO Telecommunity, was forced to delay its launch due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The fixed-line market in the Philippines is said to be underdeveloped with low penetration in the broadband market due to low investment in digital infrastructure and rapid development of mobile technologies. 

But today, the Philippines could still see a silver lining in spite of difficult circumstances, as interest in improving digital infrastructures and building new data centers is rising. 

Two of the largest telecom companies, PDLT and Globe Telecom, are making continual moves to upgrade existing infrastructure.

PDLT will continue to accelerate its network modernisation program, shifting from copper to fibre, and their subsidiary Smart Communications teamed up with Google to deploy Wi-Fi hubs across the country. 

Smart and Globe have also pledged to participate in network sharing with DITO, signalling a willingness to speed up network rollouts like 5G and break up the long-standing duopoly held by PDLT and Globe.

DITO’s entrance to the Filipino market held similar ambitions, which is why it is also predicted that market competition in the country is expected to intensify from 2021, less than four months away.

In other exciting news, a new subsea cable, JUPITER, that links the Philippines with Japan and the U.S. has gained approval from the U.S. government and will be completed by 2021.

However, the pandemic crisis has left its mark on the telecom industry, with supply chains halted and job cuts slowing down construction of infrastructures, postponing the rollout of 5G and halting consumer demand for services. 

As to how Filipino consumers would respond to market competition, a reduced but steady and positive growth is predicted. This is because COVID-19 has proven that access to general communication is crucial to live life under the ‘new normal’ where technology is needed to support home-working.

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How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected technology adoption in the BFSI market?

With economic downturns and recessions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the world, it is a unique and uncertain time for the BFSI sector, as more and more services are going digital.

Banking, financial services and insurance organisations are activating business continuity and risk management plans to survive the impacts and challenges of COVID-19.

“Somehow, over the past three years, the practices of risk management got deprioritised, so that the other priorities like customer centricity or digital innovation world take more importance,” said Michael Araneta, the Associate Vice-President for IDC Financial Insights.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Araneta believes it is important for BFSI organisations to revisit risk managements plans and consider cybersecurity, which could lead to being as extensive as capital related issues regarding liquidity and asset liability management.

“This is really just a matter of activating your risk management plans, but also ensuring that you are well equipped to take on the operational aspects of this crisis,” said Mr. Araneta.

Which technologies did the BFSI sector adopt to react to the pandemic?

To react to this pandemic crisis, BFSI companies began to increase investments and priority in digital technologies to ensure their operations were running 24 hours, 7 days a week.

“The critical technologies they obviously would be using are productivity tools, but more importantly, productivity tools that are on the cloud,” said Mr. Araneta.

It was crucial for these cloud-based technologies to be made as reliable, secure, and accessible by staff as quick as possible, even if they were working remotely.

“The ability of the organisations to sustain operations on uninterrupted basis is very important,” said Mr. Araneta.

Along with cloud applications, the next set of technologies to be prioritised concerned cybersecurity and threat intelligence, as the nature of security threats had already started to change alongside the rise of digitalisation, fintechs and insurtechs long before the pandemic.

“Many of these technologies are already available, it’s just really a matter of making sure that you adopt them in a safe and secured manner,” warned Mr. Araneta.

To take a more proactive approach during this crisis, Mr. Araneta also identified the growing importance in the need to observe data analytics, new types of data and make decisions based on the data.

“The ability of the institutions to analyse data on a real-time basis, so that they can proactively react to the trends in the market became very important,” added Mr. Araneta.

As one of the largest technology research organisations, IDC’s financial insights studied the big BFSI industry trends and developments coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of their major findings was that the financial data we used to rely on does not work anymore.

“The data that we used to rely on to make decisions in 2019 are completely different from the data that we need for 2020,” observed Mr. Araneta.

He speculated that this could be due to the changing conditions and macroeconomic situation that has changed the way that businesses are built.

The key is to remain adaptable and adjust to new working environments, customer needs and technologies to make sure that these are a good fit for your organisation.

> Watch the full interview with IDC’s Michael Araneta

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Southeast Asia is becoming a prime target for cybercriminals, with rapidly growing digitalisation and interconnectivity in the region.

But who or what is the weakest link in your cybersecurity chain making your business vulnerable to cyber attacks?

Register now to find out how you can protect your business and data from the growing threat of cybercriminals on Thursday 3 September.

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