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Hackers Are Having A Field Day Post Pandemic: Praveen Jaiswal, Vehere

Hackers Are Having A Field Day Post Pandemic: Praveen Jaiswal, Vehere

  • Vehere is among the top two global vendors in the region specialising in Homeland Security, deploying tactical solutions for large nationwide strategic monitoring centres across governments, businesses and continents.

Founded in 2006, Vehere is an India-based Cyber Situational Awareness company that develops platform-agnostic AI-powered solutions to help realize real-time latent insights in network telemetry data. Naveen Jaiswal and Praveen Jaiswal started Vehere as a GPS/GIS solution provider. It has now evolved as a leader in cyber resilience and accelerating incident response capabilities.

Vehere is among the top two global vendors in the region specialising in Homeland Security, deploying tactical solutions for large nationwide strategic monitoring centres across governments, businesses and continents. Vehere has a multinational footprint across the United States, India, South East Asia, Middle East, Africa and Armenia.

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We caught up with Praveen Jaiswal, Director & Co-founder, Vehere, to understand the cybersecurity landscape in India and globally.

Excerpts:

AIM: What are the different services offered by Vehere?

Praveen Jaiswal: Vehere was founded to develop a real-time cyber situational awareness solution to mitigate evolving cybersecurity challenges using network telemetry data. We identified the need for real-time intelligence and worked on developing advanced solutions that could secure companies against bad actors, especially with the fast-evolving threat environment. 

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The success of our AI-Powered PacketWorker and IntelliWorker platforms targeting Enterprise and National Security markets has secured our position as the leading cyber situational awareness solution provider.

Vehere PacketWorker is a Network Detection and Response solution that forms the core of the new generation of cyber defence systems. It facilitates efficient resolution of identified security incidents with relevant context, concrete evidence, actionable intelligence, and response work-flow integration to defend enterprises against advanced cyber-attacks. 

Vehere IntelliWorker is a Cyber Situational Awareness Platform that transforms massive scale data from multiple sources & sensors into usable insight for real-time cyber situational awareness. The product empowers analysts and investigators to work smarter and faster by deploying advanced analytics and visualization tools to uncover hidden connect.

Vehere continues to invest in technology domains and projects that help our customers improve their Cyber Situational Awareness. Our activities swing from the very trivial data ingestion to the assessment of complex human behaviour in real-time. 

AIM: What is Cyber Situational Awareness? 

Praveen Jaiswal: Cyberspace is a dynamic environment, with emerging issues, vulnerabilities, cyber threats, and other elements arising daily. The need for cyber situational awareness has grown as our operations have expanded and our reliance on cyberspace has grown. Organizations can recognize, store, and comprehend knowledge in real-time, thanks to cyber situational awareness, which offers both a holistic and specific understanding of risks and vulnerabilities. Situational awareness also allows for an effective assessment of an organization’s security posture and threat landscape.

Organizations may benefit from situational awareness by further understanding what is going on in their environment and in cyberspace in general. The data can aid SecOps and incident response teams in making intelligent choices about how to better protect against and respond to possible threats and attacks. Threat identification and management, network management, incident analysis, threat intelligence sharing, risk monitoring, and defence management are all important facets of situational awareness.

AIM: What is India’s growing role in global cyberspace?

Praveen Jaiswal: Recent reports should serve as a wake-up call for the custodians of our digital frontiers. The threat to our assets is very tangible and very real. The situation is grim and unless we take ownership, chaos will become the norm. The first wave is usually one that tests resolve and capabilities. We need to ready ourselves to deal with a much motivated, resourceful, and focused adversary. 

Going forward, we believe in one of two possible scenarios – either our country will see an increased reliance on external help or, it might just herald an era of greater awareness and need for augmenting serious skills, platforms and resources within the country. Whatever happens, the users will benefit owing to increased allocation and attention to security, privacy and safety.

AIM: What are the scope and challenges of cybersecurity in the defence sector?

Praveen Jaiswal: In the last two decades, India’s defence forces have welcomed technologies with open arms and made enormous progress. India has developed a range of expansive and stable defence networks across tri-forces, including a strong cyber and space headquarters, as part of its ongoing emphasis on developing a formidable defence infrastructure. We are now seeing collusive cyber-attacks from neighbouring countries, as well as the modern paradigm of multi-front wars across borders, electronic, and cyber realms. For example, the Maharashtra cyber department found 14 Trojan Horses and 8 GB of unaccounted data in the system, which according to the investigation was installed in the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) system by unverified sources. 

To tackle both overt and covert threats, our armed forces must develop strategic resilience and modern military capabilities that take advantage of emerging technologies. This calls for an integrated approach to address the growing threats and vulnerabilities. The role of National cybersecurity projects such as the National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC), National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) and the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) need to be strengthened and reviewed. 

India requires a strong cybersecurity framework based on the 4D principles i.e. Deter, Detect, Destroy and Document so that it can subvert all attempts towards any cyber challenges.

AIM: How did the cybersecurity sector change post pandemic?

Praveen Jaiswal: With Covid-19, Cybersecurity matters more than ever, and the risk of ransomware has increased as a result of the shift to remote working. But, besides the many challenges that COVID-19 has presented, there is an opportunity to see how adaptive the companies can be while looking for new ways to increase communication between employees, customers, and suppliers.  

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned during the pandemic is that no matter what the obstacles are, people need connection. For a company like Vehere, that means we need to be connected to our customers intellectually, strategically, virtually and – eventually – physically.

AIM: What’s your advice for aspirants pursuing a data science career?

Praveen Jaiswal: As companies around the world struggle with rising data leaks, hacking, and cyber-attacks, cybersecurity specialists have become the most sought-after professionals in the post-COVID world. Cybercriminals are experimenting with innovative and sophisticated methods of infiltrating database networks, disrupting operation, and stealing confidential data. Hackers are having a field day now that remote work is the new trend. Increased demand for digitisation and popularity of digital-based services led to the creation of a network of Internet of Things devices, which improves user engagement but also increases the risk of cyberattacks. Cybersecurity jobs are currently one of the most popular among students. Like every other technological domain, the market for employment in cybersecurity is elevated. Companies all around the world have been subjected to cyber-attacks on a regular basis. This situation has created a plethora of possibilities for professionals interested in working in the security sector. 

A career as a cybersecurity specialist can be pursued in several ways. To begin, one must obtain an entry-level position in the sector and obtain sufficient training and knowledge to advance to higher ranks. Because of the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals, we can predict rapid advancement.

AIM: Where do you see the cybersecurity sector in the next five years?

Praveen Jaiswal: COVID-19 pandemic launched remote working or work from home culture in India. This has led to a fundamental shift in the work environment and opened doors for more security breaches and issues that we couldn’t have ever thought of. 

We see this as a clear opportunity because we are working on network detection and response and the data in which the network sees the real picture. To tackle the challenges, we are coming up with endpoint systems to oversee the data flow in a secured manner. 

  • Growing adoption of Cloud-first Strategy: Companies around the world will not only continue to pursue a cloud-first approach but will also pursue a cloud-first security strategy. Cloud encryption would be critical in allowing employees to access enterprise services using privileged cloud access as companies obtain more experience with remote working using cloud solutions, with many aiming to allow employees to operate remotely indefinitely.
  • Push for Biometrics based Authentication: You must have heard of a world without passwords, but that’s a little misleading. Passwords aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, they are indeed being replaced by Biometrics, PINs, Behavior Analytics, and Multifactor Authentication in the context, shielded from users. Passwords would be used less often by users. Passwords will also exist, but they will be shielded from the user’s eyes, and authentication will take place in the background. It will make protection a productive environment and minimise one of the leading causes of cyber exhaustion as we step away from helping employees pick and adjust complicated passwords and toward allowing password managers or privileged access security systems to do it for them.
  • Focus on building Zero trust security approach: 5G, the latest generation of internet and smartphone access, is novel and difficult to understand. The effect of 5G on telecommunications would be groundbreaking. It also serves as a hub for technological advancements in fields such as security, smart grids, and smart cities. Without a question, 5G necessitates a higher degree of protection. Hackers are already completely focused on attempting to exploit vulnerabilities and inadequacies to steal data. Furthermore, we are anticipating an uptick in large-scale DDoS attacks or difficulties in defending complex networks with connected devices, where a single infected node will bring the whole network down. With this, it might be time for businesses to follow zero-trust network models, which are an IT protection model that involves stringent identity checking for anybody attempting to enter assets on a private network, whether they are within or outside the network perimeter.
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