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Cyber risk at home

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Photo: iStock

Gaps that can allow hack-ins through home-access routes must be identified and closed. We must not wait for a catastrophic cyber failure to boost our cyber defences

The pandemic has made work-from-home the norm for many. While this has allowed organizations and individuals to adjust and keep our economic wheels spinning, it has brought along new risks that demand special attention. A report by the Financial Stability Board, which coordinates financial rules for G20 nations, has flagged a huge jump in cyber attacks after lockdowns began globally. Incidents of malware and ransomware infiltration and phishing rose to 200,000 per week in late April 2021 from fewer than 5,000 weekly in February 2020.

Cybersecurity is a significant global concern right now, with state-sponsored operators a particular menace, and India cannot afford complacency on this front. While critical systems at the headquarters of major institutions may have adequate digital shields, covid has forced such a wide dispersal of operations that chinks could have opened up even in well-tested armours. Our data frameworks seem to have adapted to remote work only in allowing us to get by. Gaps that can allow hack-ins through home-access routes must be identified and closed. We must not wait for a catastrophic cyber failure to boost our cyber defences.

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