It’s been nearly a decade since the race for digital readiness started across industries; and with the right focus and investments, many enterprises already have or will soon touch the finishing line. Digital maturity and growth in global data volumes go hand in hand. A staggering 180 zettabytes[i] of data is expected to be generated in the next five years, and India is poised to be a leading contributor[ii] to this growth.
While the data deluge opens a new world of insights for informed decision-making, enterprises must tread carefully to ensure airtight security. This is particularly true for healthcare, financial and insurance companies. Since these companies deal with highly confidential customer data, they are a prime target for cybercriminals waiting to exploit any vulnerabilities.
Why cybersecurity is vital for BFSI
“In God we trust; all others must bring data.”
-W. Edwards Deming
In a world where data-driven companies consistently outperform their competitors, insurance companies need flexible and accessible data ecosystems to win the trust of their customers and cement their positions in the market. But, while a data-driven approach is a business imperative, it also exposes new business risks, especially security vulnerabilities. As digitalization grows increasingly widespread, these threats have become more pressing. A CloudSEK report[iii] indicates that almost 10% of the recorded cybersecurity incidents in 2021-22 were aimed at the BFSI sector, as the target shifted from North America to Asia Pacific and Europe.
Driven by disruptions, several high-profile cybersecurity breaches have already resulted in significant monetary and reputational damage. Cost-wise, large enterprises lost USD 500,000[iv] on average in the year 2020 because of cyberattacks. But that alone doesn’t account for the true impact. The biggest consequences outside of financial losses are the loss of reputation and customer trust.
This makes cybersecurity a crucial focus for insurance companies, as public and private companies, individuals, and governments trust them with their most sensitive personal data. Naturally, BFSI firms have made significant investments over the years to upgrade their cybersecurity infrastructure. But sometimes, even this is not enough. For instance, recently (October).
In the ever-evolving cyber risk landscape, BFSI enterprises need dynamic security measures that evolve ahead of emerging threats. This is where DevSecOps solutions such as VAPT can prove to be a great tool.
VAPT—the solution of choice
Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing, or VAPT, is a security testing method allowing enterprises to identify threats to their applications and IT networks proactively. With VAPT, organizations can test-check the overall security of an existing system by performing an in-depth security analysis across all required elements. Vulnerability assessment is focused on alerting organizations to pre-existing loopholes in their systems, while penetration testing simulates attacks that could exploit system flaws. This gives businesses a clearer picture of vulnerabilities and gaps that need to be closed.
VAPT also helps with a discovery process, findings, and prioritized action plans to rectify the identified vulnerabilities/breaches. This assessment solution suite covers an enterprise’s entire IT ecosystem, including its servers, IoT devices, cloud infrastructure, applications, networks, and databases. Now, insurance enterprises can proactively identify vulnerabilities across their infrastructure and applications before hackers can exploit them.
The reasons why enterprises and governments are increasingly turning to VAPT are plenty. In India, for instance, the IRDAI has issued a security framework [v] wherein insurers must conduct VAPT on the entire ICT infrastructure annually. The IRDAI also mandated the VAPT of critical applications annually while issuing that the Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing audits be conducted on all internet-facing applications and Infrastructure components at least once in six months.
Similar trends can be witnessed across the globe. Research suggests the global VAPT market value is steadily growing and is expected to reach USD 2.7 billion [vi]in 2027.
Fixing the data security blind spots with NSEIT
VAPT is simply one of many DevSecOps solutions that enterprises are turning to for risk-proofing their digital ecosystem. However, as veterans in the BFSI domain, NSEIT recommends cultivating an agile and proactive approach to cybersecurity rather than a standalone implementation. Insurance leaders must be highly selective when choosing partners to entrust their cybersecurity posture.
NSEIT’s integrated portfolio of cyber security offerings, Aujas, offers VAPT services and so much more to enterprises looking for a holistic solution for their data security needs. Powered by emerging technologies, Aujas’ offerings are purpose-built to combat advanced attacks and provide dynamic upgrades to security infrastructure. The end-to-end support of our data security experts and a customized approach unique to each company further boost our solution portfolio. This allows enterprises to progress their data security journeys, irrespective of their maturity level and be future-ready.
To learn more about the value we can add to your organization, please visit https://www.nseituat.com/cybersecurity/.
Manoj B. Bhatkar
Vice President – Digital, NSEIT Limited