Cybersecurity defence essentials: Must-know strategies for businesses – ET Edge Insights – ET Edge Insights

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George Symons, of Persistent Systems, outlines essential tactics for businesses to strengthen their cybersecurity defences

The ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape presents organisations with an array of increasingly intricate risks. George Symons, VP of Cloud, Infrastructure, and Security Strategy at Persistent Systems, talks about the biggest and most growing cyber dangers that firms confront now. Symons highlights the transition from traditional threats, such as phishing and malware, to advanced intrusions driven by deepfakes, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Businesses, according to Symons, need to put in place robust cybersecurity plans that incorporate resilience, AI-powered threat detection, and continuous surveillance to counteract these advanced threats.

Edited excerpts

What are the most prevalent and emerging cyberthreats that businesses deal with these days, and how have they evolved?

The complexity of the cybersecurity landscape has only grown in recent times due to the emergence of cutting-edge technologies such as 5G networks, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence. A couple of years ago, businesses primarily dealt with traditional threats like malware, DDoS attacks, and phishing scams. However, now they face a wide array of advanced attacks by cybercriminals leveraging AI, machine learning, and deepfakes. This includes ransomware strains that maliciously utilise AI to rapidly spread while evading detection, compelling deepfake media for social engineering and corporate espionage, and automated password cracking. To combat these evolved threats, businesses can no longer rely solely on legacy security measures. They require a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy incorporating AI-driven threat detection, advanced encryption, continuous monitoring, robust access controls, security awareness training, proactive threat hunting, and incident response planning. Protecting networks, endpoints, data, and user identities is crucial as threat actors develop more sophisticated attack methods.

In what ways can organisations utilise threat intelligence to proactively detect and address cyber threats? 

While threat intelligence can empower proactive defence, it requires a holistic, platform-driven approach to be truly effective. Beyond integrating contextual intelligence sources, enterprises must weave intelligence into security orchestration across people, processes, and technology stacks. This enables timely security control updates, targeted vulnerability management, and cultivating security-aware cultures—vital for combating stealthy social engineering campaigns. In addition, threat intelligence can be utilised by leveraging Generative AI to capture different public and private feeds that track risks and attacks, helping organisations determine which risks they are prepared for and which ones they need to focus on closing. Contextual intelligence combined with automated response capabilities underpins resilience.

With the increasing adoption of cloud services, what strategies are essential for ensuring robust cyber recovery and resilience in cloud environments?

Cloud security is a shared responsibility between the hyperscaler and the customer.  The customers must focus on robust cloud security posture management. This includes workload protection via cloud-native services, micro-segmentation, and encryption to mitigate lateral threats. However, resilience also necessitates stringent identity controls, privileged access governance, and systematic backup/recovery strategies aligned to business continuity needs. Regular drills evaluating incident response are key to validating recovery mechanisms.

How does the adoption of a zero-trust framework contribute to enhancing cyber resilience?

Zero trust enables cyber resilience by enforcing least-privilege access based on continuous verification of user and device trust for each application and piece of data. It protects critical assets through micro-segmenting environments, containing breach impact and thwarting threat propagation. Critically, zero trust drives a security-conscious culture—”never”trust, always”verify”—sharpening resilience by minimising the human attack vector.

In what ways can organisations improve their cybersecurity resilience through collaboration and information sharing with peers and stakeholders, and what role does this play across industries?

In the ongoing battle against escalating cyber threats, collaboration and information sharing play a vital role in improving cybersecurity resilience across and within industries. By actively participating in industry-specific information sharing and analysis centres (ISACs), government/public organisations, or other collaborative forums, organisations can access timely, actionable threat intelligence, best practices, and lessons learned from peers facing similar challenges. This collective knowledge empowers more informed risk assessments, strengthens incident response strategies, and drives the development of effective security controls tailored to the unique risks faced by specific sectors. Furthermore, cross-industry collaboration facilitates the sharing of resources, expertise, and innovative solutions, enabling organisations to stay ahead of evolving cyber threats collectively. Ultimately, this collaborative approach fosters a more resilient and secure ecosystem for all participants, as unified resilience through public-private partnerships and robust information-sharing mechanisms creates a formidable deterrent against threat actors.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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