India Grapples with Mounting Cybersecurity Risks, According to Palo Alto Networks Report
India is confronting a significant threat of cyberattacks aimed at its critical infrastructure, public sector, and essential services, as per a report released by Palo Alto Networks. The report highlights that a substantial 67 percent of Indian government and vital service entities have reported an alarming surge of over 50 percent in disruptive cyberattacks.
Anil Valluri, Managing Director and VP India at Palo Alto Networks, commented on the findings, saying, "Our findings reveal that the transport, manufacturing, and public sectors have been disproportionately affected by advanced cyberattacks. As India increasingly embraces digital transformation, adopting a cybersecurity-first approach becomes mission-critical."
Manufacturing, Logistics, and BFSI Sectors in the Crosshairs
The report sheds light on the fact that 66 percent of Indian manufacturing firms are facing escalating risks due to unsecured IoT devices connected to their networks, a considerably higher rate than in other sectors. Additionally, the report reveals that 50 percent of these manufacturing organizations are concerned that the adoption of 5G technology will widen security vulnerabilities.
Transport and logistics organizations have also fallen victim to cyberattacks, with a staggering 83 percent of entities in this sector considering their risk level to be high or very high.
Apart from manufacturing and logistics, the banking and financial sectors are under a looming cyber threat. The report notes that 34 percent of Indian banking and financial services anticipate that cloud attacks will disrupt their business operations.
Cyberattacks on the Rise Due to Technological Advancements
The report attributes the surge in cyberattacks in India to the rapid advancement of technologies. Approximately 69 percent of Indian telecommunications companies have faced heightened risks due to their increased reliance on cloud-based services and applications. Furthermore, 57 percent of Indian telecoms are expressing concerns about the rising threat of ransomware attacks.
In response to the escalating cyber risks, Indian organizations have started reallocating their budgets to bolster cybersecurity measures. The report indicates that 94 percent of Indian organizations now conduct regular assessments and forensics related to operational technology (OT) cybersecurity incidents. Moreover, 89 percent of these organizations have IT and OT cybersecurity professionals working together as part of a unified team, surpassing the Southeast Asia (SEA) average of 82 percent.
Indian Corporations Adjust Budgets to Confront Cyber Threats
Valluri emphasized the need for strategic investments and initiatives to combat cybersecurity threats in India, stating, "While budgets may be expanding, it is essential to utilize these resources prudently. Enterprises, irrespective of their size, must adopt a Zero Trust architecture proactively to secure distributed enterprise networks. The automation of the Security Operations Center (SOC) is also imperative for enhanced efficiency, enabling quicker detection and response to cyber threats, while allowing analysts to focus on strategic initiatives." He further added, "The convergence of IT and OT has facilitated lateral threat movement more than ever before, and defending against it demands robust security automation and orchestration."