In just a few months, some of the major companies of the world have suffered crippling cyberattacks. This has compromised the vital information of the affected companies and in few cases exposed personal details of their customers. In fact, a prediction shows that the loss incurred by cybercrime would amount to $6 trillion dollars in 2021.
Given this situation, the need to adopt better cybersecurity techniques has been on the rise. Analytics India Magazine caught up with Srinivas Prasad, Vice President and Security Practice Head at NTT Netmagic to understand how a service and cloud solutions company stays afloat in the face of major cybersecurity challenges.
NTT Netmagic is a Mumbai-headquartered managed hosting and hybrid multi-cloud solution provider and is currently serving over 2,500 clients globally. Some of its major services include cloud computing, disaster recovery-as-a-service, container-as-a-service, Security Orchestration Automation & Response (SOAR), and software-defined storage solutions.
AIM: What are the strategies that NTT-Netmagic utilises to mitigate cyberattacks and other threats?
Srinivas: Our strategy to mitigate cyberattacks revolves around visibility, continuous monitoring and improved incident response. NTT-Netmagic is continuously helping customers improve visibility by adding services such as:
EDR: Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is a SaaS-based advanced endpoint protection facility that provides automated threat detection and response capabilities.
Threat intelligence: NTT-Netmagic offers threat intelligence-as-a-service, where specific intelligence to improve threat detection is provided, along with enhancing a client organisation’s preventive capabilities.
SOAR: It is a combination of three services — security orchestration and automation; security incident response platform and threat intelligence platform
I strongly believe that 100% security is a myth and therefore, continuous monitoring and accelerated incident response is key for every organisation.
AIM: What are the technical aspects of the cybersecurity solutions provided by NTT-Netmagic, especially in terms of AI and machine learning?
Srinivas: Many of the services offered by NTT-Netmagic leverage Machine learning and AI. We have augmented our SOC/SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) offering with case management and SOAR by partnering with New York-headquartered cybersecurity product company Cyware Labs. We leverage a range of their products, including the Cyware Situational Awareness Platform (CSAP) leverage AI to generate real-time, location-based and industry-based alerts to boost cyber situational awareness.
We also offer host protection solutions that provide comprehensive machine-learning and anti-malware execution with real-time post-infection protection. This provides behavioural protection in addition to traditional techniques offering superior detection and response capabilities. We also use machine learning models and profilers for User Behaviour Analytics, where we analyse user activity to detect malicious intervention to determine whether the users’ credentials have been compromised.
AIM: How have your security offerings been enhanced or updated, especially this year during the pandemic?
Srinivas: Our endeavour is to continuously enhance and improve our security services, and we have enhanced our SOC/SIEM offering with case management and SOAR solution. We also enhanced our threat intelligence and EDR services to augment managed detection and response services.
The biggest challenge that the cybersecurity industry is facing today is the skill gap. Being a managed security services provider, NTT-Netmagic always ensures that the team is capable of handling latest cyber threats, and have introduced cyber range for our security analysts by partnering with RangeForce, which provides training for cybersecurity professionals. The RangeForce CyberSkills Platform provides a simulated hands-on learning environment that trains our SOC analysts to detect and respond to the latest cyber threats.
AIM: What does NTT-Netmagic’s Disaster Recovery As A Service entail?
Srinivas: At NTT-Netmagic, our solutions can fully equip organisations to hit the ground running, no matter whether the customer requirement is for independent DR (disaster recovery) infrastructure, DR automation services or end-to-end DR consulting and managed services.
Our DR services are available as individual or collective managed services offerings. We design solutions to meet the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) needs with meticulous care and oversight. We also provide managed services support for all aspects of DR planning, testing, and management.
AIM: Zero Trust seems to be the buzzword in the cybersecurity space nowadays. What are your views on the same?
Srinivas: The current scenario has led to an incremental security threat. After the pandemic outbreak, companies had to swiftly transition to work-from-home and adopt cloud-based service offerings to avoid business disruption. In most cases, adequate security protocols were not in place. Identity aware application access and a Zero trust model helped a lot of customers, and we have seen increased adoption of these solutions in recent times.
AIM: How have cyber threats and attacks changed over recent years, especially with the advent of technologies such as AI?
Srinivas: The attack surface continues to grow and evolve, bringing in new threat vectors. Over the last few years, the scale, sophistication and robustness of cyberattacks have increased. Ransomware has moved from just encryption to exfiltration and encryption. Attackers are innovating techniques to evade detection mechanisms. AI-powered cyberattacks are no more a future concept but already exist in the world. Contextualised phishing emails are an example of such kinds of threats. AI is largely used by attackers for impersonation and making attacks stealthier.
AIM: Your prediction on security trends in 2021?
Srinivas: We expect to see an increased acceptance of Zero trust architecture. There will be an increased focus on getting more visibility where organisations will invest in technologies like EDR, NDR (Network Detection and Response), XDR (Extended Detection and Response), SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) and threat intelligence to map and monitor their attack surface. Understaffed security teams, manual processes, complex policies and new-age threats will leave organisations overwhelmed. Acceptance of MSSPs (Managed Security Services) will increase to address these challenges.
AIM: What skill sets and qualities does NTT-Netmagic look for in candidates to be hired for security specialist roles in the organisation?
Srinivas: Today, organisations are seeking the perfect candidate with about 5 to 10 years of experience and several certifications for an entry-level position. This is impractical and damaging. At NTT-Netmagic, we focus on a mix of talent in our team. We have very experienced and highly skilled resources, coupled with junior analysts with great intent and zeal. Curiosity and intent to learn are the primary skills that we look for in any entry-level candidate that we hire. We also strongly emphasise on training programmes and technologies like Cyber Range which allows us to hire personnel and give them a chance to gain experience.
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I am a journalist with a postgraduate degree in computer network engineering. When not reading or writing, one can find me doodling away to my heart’s content.