RITESH CHOPRA, Field Sales and Marketing Manager, India & Saar Countries, Norton Lifelock
We are in the second year of the pandemic and according to the Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report (NCSIR) 2021, one in two Indian adults has been the victim of hackers in the past 12 months. “The need of the hour is to secure not only computers, but also smartphones and all other devices connected to the Internet that track the activity and data of consumers on the go,” says Ritesh Chopra, Director, Sales and ground. Marketing, India and Saarland, NortonLifeLock, in interaction with Sudhir Chowdhary. Extracts:
Have you seen a change in consumer behavior when it comes to protecting their online identity?
Yes, there has been a noticeable change in that direction. According to the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights report, nearly 9 in 10 Indian adults have taken action to help protect their online activities and personally identifiable information in the past year. Almost three-quarters of them (74%) say they have done so due to changes in lifestyles and work environment since the start of the pandemic. 76% of Indian adults were proactively looking for better ways to do it.
Making passwords stronger is the most common measure to protect personal data and our report shows that 43% of Indian adults are already doing this. Meanwhile, around 36% limit the information they share on social media.
What new threats have emerged over the past two years as we continue to use home networks for office work?
While most organizations have robust cybersecurity policies, cyber attacks can still occur on home networks despite all precautions. Phishing scams have seen a massive increase during the nationwide lockdown, as have ransomware attacks, where people lose control of their devices and are then blackmailed into regaining access. Spyware, or click bait, embedded in news articles is also on the rise, and once the user clicks on such a link, the spyware is downloaded in the background without their knowledge. It will copy the user’s passwords or their credit card details when they use it. Deepfakes are another worrying threat that manipulates visual and / or audio content using deep neural network-based machine learning methods to perform malicious actions or steal its identity.
With the recent cases of cyber attacks on notable brands, what steps should be taken by organizations and governments to ensure the protection of consumer data?
The government has suggested several measures to combat the increase in cybercrime by strengthening cybersecurity. The key is to ensure strict and comprehensive implementation of these measures. Organizations, on the other hand, need to secure their networks and ensure their employees are using secure devices. Consumers, on the other hand, should make efforts to keep an eye on the cyber threat landscape and beware of cyber attacks, especially phishing, which could target their personal data when connected to an insecure network. If they are connected to a public network or an unsecured private Wi-Fi connection, it is highly recommended that they use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to protect the privacy and security of their browsing activity.
What proactive steps can consumers take to ensure that their online identity is secure and that there is a clear division of the network used for personal or official purposes?
It is essential to have a clear division of the network regarding personal and official use. Additionally, there are a few basic steps consumers can take to avoid falling prey to cyber attacks:
Talk to your employer to understand the new policies to help keep you, your coworkers, and the company safe.Always use the company’s technology toolkit, as it will likely include a firewall and virus protection, as well as security features like VPN and two-factor. Authentication Beware of coronavirus-themed phishing emails used by cybercriminals. Immediately report such phishing attempts to your employer Keep your VPN on, as it provides a secure link between employees and businesses by encrypting data. A VPN helps protect information from cybercriminals and competitors.
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