With the rise in smart devices, on-the-go connectivity, high volume of data transfer and new business paradigms offering customized services and solutions to users, one of the major downsides would be the increasing vulnerability to spoofs, malware, hacking and other forms of cyberattacks.
The coming age of automation powered by IoT and ultra-high-speed 5G connectivity would mean unprecedented data being generated, collated and analyzed. The cat-and-mice chase between hackers and those working to safeguard crucial information from them, will only intensify.
Today almost all data has a location and spatial component, which is valuable across verticals and sectors, and is bound to increase as geospatial convergence with frontier technologies such as AI, 5G, IoT gains momentum. The challenge ahead is not just to identify risks, but to mitigate them timely and to design systems that cannot be hacked and intruded. The rise in risk factor would also lead to an exponential increase in the overall damage.
At the last Day 1 plenary at GeoInt 2022, geospatial approach towards cybersecurity was discussed. The panel delved into all aspects of cybersecurity, from legal, technological to sociological.
Data aggregation and monetization has already turned into a lucrative business model, and companies vie with each other for behavior data of customers for targeted advertisements. More pernicious influences include election hacking, online disinformation, rancid social polarization and manipulation through algorithms.  The involvement of corporate behemoths and the lack of a uniform data regime in most countries further complicates the situation.
Rohan Verma, CEO, MapMyIndia, believes that tech indigenization would serve the dual purpose of domestic capacity enhancement as well as preventing data of a country’s citizenry from being exploited by companies not under country’s jurisprudence. In this regard, data sovereignty/ localization debate and the demand for domestic data centers, has also assumed relevance in the raging cybersecurity debate.
When all technologies are not only being integrated across verticals, but it’s becoming difficult to view them in silos as they either function in tandem, or complement the other. Convergence and interoperability best represent what we seek to achieve – digital transformation.
MapMyIndia has coined an acronym called MANDIGS(Maps, IoT, Navigation, Drones, Analytics, GIS, Satellite) to emphasize crucial areas related to geospatial, and the ones that will be at the forefront of the fast-transforming and innovating world.
Worldwide cyber security market is poised to grow to $158 billion dollar by 2023. And if we look at the staggering annual loss due to cybercrime, then we are eyeing an alarming future, if things are not set right. As per some estimates, the global cost of cybercrimes could run in trillions by 2025. Clearly, this calls for concerted action, vision, and tech innovation
“Cloud has disrupted everything, which presents both threat and opportunity. Increased remote work post-Covid has also increased the need for cyber security”, says Jasbir Singh Solanki, CEO – Homeland & Cybersecurity, Mahindra Defence.
“Any company that offers solutions and services and has a digital footprint, or uses algorithms is today a software company, no matter whether it operates in logistics or retail. That’s why the need to ensure a layered cyber defense mechanism as there’s no ‘Google’ of cybersecurity”, he added.
Another important pillar of cybersecurity that gets overlooked in the din around it, is a robust legal framework and a collaborative approach.
In India there are a maze of laws and cybersecurity is covered under the IT Act 2000, but there’s no national geospatial policy or guideline, which prevents a multi-dimensional understanding of cybersecurity from a geospatial prism.
“India lacks a dedicated law on cybersecurity. Moreover, even globally there’s no binding international law on it”, said Dr. Pavan Duggal, Chairman, International Commission on Cyber Security Law.
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