Blending tech, skills and mindset to combat cyberthreats is extremely essential according to Manoj Abraham IPS, Additional Director General of Police, Headquarters and Nodal O?cer, CyberDome, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Police.

Is there such a thing as perfect cybersecurity? Today, digital tools and technologies have seeped into our lives, and there is no concept of a perfect cybersecurity. Each day we are faced with new cyber dangers. No matter what you do, no matter how careful you are, you will never be 100 percent safe from hackers, malware, and cybercrime. That’s the reality we all live in, and it’s important to keep this in mind.

Cybercriminals exploiting new tech

While technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, 5G, Blockchain and others are evolving and converging; cybercriminals are becoming more agile, exploiting these new technologies with lightning speed, tailoring their attacks using new methods, and cooperating with each other in ways we have not seen before.

There have been instances where cyber criminals bypassed layers of cybersecurity controls using AI.  The number of attacks on cloud platforms has increased rapidly. The success illustrates how certain use of powerful developing technologies such as AI, cloud, 5G, biometrics and new encryption technologies will change the landscape of cybercrime for both attackers and defenders.

AI and machine learning (ML) are being used to make cyberattacks impactful. Criminals are using cloud services and technology to speed up attacks. While 5G will bring immense benefits, cybercriminals will take advantage of this revolutionary tech.

These days, more and more individuals and businesses are using web-connected devices like smart TVs and refrigerators that make life a little easier and also enhance efficiency. But these so-called Internet of Things (IoT) devices—just like computers and smartphones—pose security risks to consumers by cybercriminals who are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to exploit for their own gain.

Cyberattacks know no borders

Cybercrimes know no borders, either physical or virtual, and can cause serious harm and pose very real threats to victims across.  Diversity in these cyberattacks is posing a concern for the police as well. In such a scenario, security awareness is extremely essential.

Wars are now becoming hybrid, and cyber warfare is emerging as new medium to target nations.

Be vigilant to combat cybercrime

No individual or an organization is an island today. All of us are part of an increasingly hyperconnected world. With security becoming complex- technology, skills and mindset need to be blended to create an integrated approach. Data Science, soft skills etc. need to blend with security. Technology alone cannot do anything. There needs to be a fusion of skills, technology and most importantly there is a need for a mindset shift in the approach to cybersecurity.

Training cyber experts for the future is critical. We have been emphasizing on the need to have CISO appointed in the government.

We cannot be complacent at any time. Security analysis needs to carried out at all times.  It is important to remember the quote from former FBI Director, William H. Webster, “security is always too much until the day it is not enough.”

(This article is an extract basis the keynote presentation by Manoj Abraham IPS, Additional Director General of Police, Headquarters and Nodal Officer, CyberDome, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Police at the recently concluded dynamicCISO summit on 10 and 11 March ‘22)

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