How A Right Cloud Security Strategy Can Help You Vaccinate Your Business Against the Cyber Pandemic

It’s a no brainer – cyber security is a critical issue.

But top leadership teams at many organizations had been overestimating their strategic cyber security capabilities until the COVID-19 crisis hit the world.

The global pandemic, exacting a terrible economic toll worldwide, caught most businesses off guard and has had a downstream effect on security teams of most organizations.

It exposed that only a few companies worldwide had strong cyber security preparedness to combat the increasing number of cyber attacks, triggered by the rapid shift in work patterns on an extremely abbreviated timeline and operating model. Companies are today exposed to an exponentially higher number of threat surfaces and vectors resulting from remote delivery of work.

According to Atlas VPN, the number of breached records in the first quarter of 2020 hit an all-time high of 8.4 billion, a 273% surge from the same period in 2019.

Just Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) or Current Reality?

COVID-19 has accelerated businesses’ transition to a digital future with data moving to cloud. Many global business leaders at World Economic Forum, held in July this year, warned looming of a potentially dangerous cyber pandemic that is likely to result due to rapid and unplanned move.

Dave Bartoletti, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester says: “In general, we expect companies to expand their use of public cloud, contract their spending on building private clouds and shift their hybrid balance to be greater on the public cloud side. This shift was already underway; the pandemic will accelerate it.”

Where Should Businesses Prioritize?

The COVID-19 crisis has refocused strategic priorities of businesses towards the value of cloud delivered security and operational tools.

A solid cloud security plan is central in protecting an organization’s assets and reputation. Security and risk management leaders must now commit to new, emerging cloud security trends to optimize business value and eliminate risks.

• Review the Security Needs of Your Remote Workforce: It is recommended that you evaluate your unique business needs and the data and applications usage of your workforce to assess if any security measures need to be prioritized.

• Eliminate Mundane Tasks with Security Process Automation: It automates security operations tasks based on predefined rules and templates and performs tasks faster and at scale. It saves significant time for businesses to focus on more critical security projects.

• AI to Augment Human Decision Making for Driving Digital Business Initiatives: As more companies adopt cloud computing, many struggle to handle the increasingly complex environment – constituted by the sheer volume of devices, users, and applications.

AI/ML technologies can be integrated into cloud access and application security and network and gateway security to protect digital business systems, improve security defense, and enable automated investigations and accelerated reactions. These technologies build an air-tight system that can take businesses’ cloud security game to the next level.

• Risk-based vulnerability management: It’s recommended that businesses focus on automating infrastructure build out first to significantly reduce the scope of security errors, continually checking instances across the environment and leveraging threat intelligence and asset criticality to prepare a 360-degree view of risks organizations are vulnerable to and a mitigation plan.

The Borderless Enterprise is Here to Stay

We are over 9 months into the COVID-era now. Many businesses are still playing catch up to optimize their remote work experience, according to Infoblox.

Over 90% of decision-makers consider digital transformation and cloud-managed services a priority. Organizations can deploy cloud in multiple ways for communications, brand building, reducing costs and increasing customer acquisition.

A trusted cloud services advisor has the expertise to enable enterprises to take a proactive step towards ensuring safe and secure cloud computing environments while maximizing their ROI and brand image through a managed services model.

Top cloud services organizations today are shepherding many Fortune 500 companies through the process of cloud consulting or cloud migration, and building IaaS and PaaS solutions which can co-exist, on-premise or on the cloud enabling greater operational flexibility.

It is critical to choose a DevSecOps partner, that can help organizations go-to-market faster, improve team productivity and efficiency, detect defects in early stages and build highly stable and secure products.

AI-driven, multi-spoke cloud operations can have businesses covered from provisioning through disaster recovery, giving them lowered TCO, higher ROI, agility, real-time scale, and availability.

In these times, it is important for organizations to have a Zero Trust framework that moves each of their perimeters to every network, user, and device within and outside their company to prevent leaks of their protected data and reducing the risk of increasing cyber attacks.

It is important to act now than regret later.

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Rethinking Cloud Security in the New Normal

The sudden shift towards remote working, as a result of worldwide lockdowns, has prompted businesses to change their IT models almost overnight. As more businesses flock to the cloud environments like never before to ensure business continuity, rethinking cloud security becomes extremely critical in this ‘new normal’.
The irony is, the basics of cloud security are still not understood by many organizations with a recent research by consulting firm KPMG and software giant Oracle shedding light that though business leaders digitally transform their operations and shift to the cloud, adequate security controls are all too often an afterthought. Another research report by Ermetic, suggests that nearly 80% of companies experienced at least one cloud data breach in the last one year. These researches suggest that cloud security poses a challenge for most business leaders, especially in the face of business uncertainty.
“Businesses have always been leaning towards cloud services to accelerate digital transformation and deliver a seamless customer experience, with the pandemic only fast-tracking this dependency. Cloud technology has given organizations the impetus to reimagine the scope of providing agile, flexible and scalable solutions with greater ease,” said Sanket Atal, MD, Intuit India.
As the public cloud infrastructure enables more streamlined and unified access to data streams, the advent of security breaches become more pronounced, thus predisposing risks and threats to data security. In such a scenario, he believes that developing a cloud security strategy can help organizations clarify their security and compliance posture, and help them stay up to date on emerging threats. A strong security strategy in place can also help businesses prevent overspending or misspending on clouds security controls.
Phanikishore Burre, SVP & Delivery Head – Infrastructure, Network, Cloud & Security (INCS) Services, CSS Corp. agreed that a clear defined vision with accountability establishes a sustainable security lifecycle management process that safeguards digital assets and eliminates business risks.
“Organizations must define a complete lifecycle strategy to prepare, detect, mitigate, recover, and improve by using AI/ML-based advancements for increased accuracy and protection,” he said.
Kishore P. Durg, Senior Managing Director, Lead – Intelligent Cloud & Infrastructure, Accenture Technology added that misconfigurations rank among the leading security challenges in the cloud. But there is no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to configuring the cloud securely.
He said that organizations should take a risk-based approach to define controls that allow the cloud to serve as an enabler of digital transformation, while operating within acceptable tolerance levels. These controls can be leveraged to continuously monitor for, auto-remediate, and even prevent such misconfigurations for IaaS and PaaS, which is particularly important in multi-cloud estates.
“Investing in firewall controls is extremely important to monitor network traffic and protect the infrastructure and operating system. Apart from this, cloud security posture management (CSPM) solutions can help to avoid misconfigurations that can lead to data leakage and identity and access management plays a unique role to manage risk and enable the business,” added Durg on how organizations can safeguard their confidential data.
Experts also believe that hosting an endpoint security solution will help to detect and protect against malware and other threats. As Durg explained, “With cloud blurring an organization’s network boundary, establishing a “Zero Trust” framework will allow companies to more intelligently focus on implementing relevant technology controls to protect their business.”
Burre further emphasized on integrating the right technologies like CSPM and zero trust network access to secure the enterprise IT environment.
Worldwide, Cloud Security is set to grow at a 33% between 2019 and 2024 according to Gartner. This demonstrates that organisations are investing more in cloud security practices, by ensuring that solutions and platforms are integrated with the right tools to inoculate themselves from attacks and breaches.
Another challenge experts often observe is that cloud security requires a different employee skillset than on-premise security and the skill gap continue to widen. As Atal believes, “With multiple players in the industry, it will also become imperative for organizations to multi-skill their employees to support these vastly different cloud platforms.
Needless to mention, as cloud adoption grows, organizations’ cloud strategy must go hand-in-hand with a security strategy. Given that remote working or work from anywhere is here to stay, and businesses will continue to shift to cloud infrastructure, it has never been more vital for them to a strong, reliable and robust strategy to protect against the ongoing threat of cyber attack.

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Here are the top employers looking out to hire in 2020: Top Jobs in India by Indeed & People Matters

Indeed & People Matters bring to you, “Top Jobs in India”- A Hiring Week, starting from November 2 to November 6, 2020. The week showcases India’s top organizations hiring actively now. Here is a list of top companies in India participating in the hiring week as they look out for talent like yours for their organization.

As employers, employees, and economies transform amid the COVID-19 times, it is essential to identify the jobs that will be in demand and help the current and future workforce prepare for them. It’s critical for governments, workers and employers to come and work together to build a sustainable future as we step into the future of work.

Being at the center of the People and Work, Indeed and People Matters bring to you “Top Jobs In India” a hiring week starting from November 2 to November 6, 2020 to get job seekers back to work.

Here is a list of organziations participating in this hiring week and looking forward to hire for prime job roles.

[24]7. ai

November 2, 11:00 am

[24]7.ai is a customer experience software and services company that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand consumer intent. It helps companies create a personalized experience across all channels.

Join Shivesh Kundan, Head of Talent Acquisition at [24]7. ai on November 2, 11:00 am as he shares some of the basic skill sets and top roles the company is looking to hire for.

VMware

November 2, 4:00 pm

VMWare is a global leader in cloud computing and virtualization software and services. It was also one of the first commercially successful companies to virtualize the x86 architecture.

Join Ashish Goyal, Director – Talent Acquisition India, Co-Lead D&I India Chapter, VMware on November 2, 4:00 pm as he takes you through the company’s culture, some of the assessment types, and what can get you hired at VMWare?

Credit Suisse

November 3, 11:00 am

Credit Suisse Group AG is a global wealth manager, investment bank, and financial services firm founded and based in Switzerland.

Join Prashant Bhatnagar, Director – Human Resources, Credit Suisse on November 3, 11:00 am as he shares what kind of talent the company is looking to hire, what are some of the parameters the candidates will be assessed on, and what it looks like working at Credit Suisse.

UST Global

November 3, 4:00 pm

UST Global operates in 25 countries and deliver future-ready digital transformation strategy services, products, and platforms that create new possibilities and help you imagine what’s next in financial services, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, semiconductor, and communications.

Join Kavita Kurup, Global Head – Talent and Organizational Transformation at UST Global on 3 November, 4:00 pm and uncover what it is like to work at UST Global.

CSS Corp India PVT Ltd

November 4, 11:00 am

CSS Corp is an IT services and premium tech support solutions company to harness the power of digital, cognitive IT service management to address customer needs.

Join Brijesh Balakrishnan, SVP, Global Head – Talent Fulfilment at CSS Corp on November 4 at 11:00 am and know what are the major roles they are hiring for, what are the locations they are planning to hire for and some tips to stand out in the interview.

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24 Years Of Experience And Counting…

Finance and I

• Why Finance and I mix?  

Might be genetic! My father was an accountant by profession and my paternal grandfather was an astrologer with a sharp acumen and fascination for numbers. Once I chose this stream, the very fact that finance is a great enabler, as well as the most reliable yardstick for business performance, made it even more exciting for me.

• Motto I live by…  

Never do anything that you would not want to see reported on the front page of a newspaper.

• Being CFO to me means… 

A conscience keeper and a provider of early warning signals to the businesses.

• When I switch any company I would like to be remembered for 

Being a team player, my scalable controls and processes that I helped devise or implement.

• Next pit stop 

CFO of a publicly listed company.

• Leadership goals 

Inspiring people to do their best and shaping careers.

Learnings

• Another CFO I look up to 

It would be difficult to single out a particular person.  All the CFOs that I have had the opportunity of working with in the past have influenced me positively as well as some of the CEOs that I have worked with. I applaud them for their ‘CFO instinct,’ and hence consider them as my ‘Gurus’ too!

• A leader/mentor I look up to and why

Outside the corporate world, it would be MS Dhoni. I admire him for the cool head over his shoulders and his ability to get the best out of his team.

• One deal I wish I had cracked 

Thankfully, I do not have any such regrets as of now. I am glad to have had great work experiences, including M&A deals and transformation initiatives.

• One thing I still want to learn 

To become an expert in the art of negotiation.

• Most overrated financial advice  

I believe that the B2C business valuations these days are certainly overrated.

• Value creation to me means? 

An equitable creation of value to the entire stakeholder spectrum – shareholders, employees, vendors, society.

• What have failures have taught me? 

As long as we are willing to learn from those failures, life always offers everyone a second chance.

• From my previous experience, the biggest learning that remained? 

Behind every great achievement lies strong teamwork.

• One misconception that CFOs have about themselves?

Being I ‘only a numbers guy’. The have successfully evolved from that phase to becoming leaders who provide strategic direction to businesses. I feel that over the last two decades, this evolution has already taken place.

• One responsibility/thing that very few understand about CFO’s function? 

Risk mitigation.

• What role does spirituality play in my life & leadership? 

Spirituality has taught me to treat others with empathy, treat success and failures with equanimity and most importantly, always hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

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CSS Corp to Open 100 Jobs Positions in Costa Rica

CSS Corp, a leading IT Services and Technology Support company will add 100 new job positions locally.  The company has been in the country for several years and its growth reflects CSS Corp’s continued commitment to Costa Rica.

CSS Corp launched its first center in Latin America in Costa Rica in August 2013, to cater to the steadily rising demand from clients in the region and globally for multi-lingual tech support capabilities.

CSS has currently 760 employees that deliver enterprise and B2B tech support services. The company is looking for another 100 professionals to join them in the next 3 months.

Duayner Salas, acting Minister of Foreign Trade commented: “Over the last years Costa Rica has evolved from transactional functions to multifunctional sophisticated processes and the country has a mature environment for complex business activities in services. Nowadays, we stand as the main exporter of high value-added services in Latin America. In that context, we celebrate the expansion of CSS Corp because it will allow us to generate more quality jobs and better lives.”

Jayagopi Andhoor, country head and vice president at CSS Corp, Costa Rica, said “Costa Rica’s central time zone makes it a favorable location for real-time collaboration globally. In addition, the stable political environment, ease of access, and the availability of high-quality, diversified talent, multilingual capabilities and technical skills were the key differentiators that led CSS Corp to establish a delivery center in Costa Rica”.

Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, commented: “CSS, a company from India, one of the countries with the greatest contribution in IT companies, found in Costa Rica the strategic partner to grow its business. With the new hires, CSS will add a total payroll of 860 employees. According to CINDE, 85% of the employees in the companies from the services sector have staff that comes from public schools, and also, 42% of the total workers in the sector are women, exceeding the national average of 39%, which demonstrates inclusiveness in job creation”.

CSS is recruiting candidates with English 85% (B2+), 1 Year Consumer tech support Experience, or 1 Year enterprise TAC/Security support Experience. Interested candidates
can apply at https://csscorp.cr-jobs.com or write to costarica.jobs@csscorp.com

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CSS Corp Wins Gold at the 12th Annual 2020 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards®

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has won the Gold Award at the 12th Annual 2020 Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards. The company won the award for driving ROI for clients through technology and business model innovation.

CSS Corp’s unique proposition of transforming business models for clients by offering innovative outcome-based and gain-sharing models has been instrumental in transforming front-office support and client facing infrastructure at organizations. The company has been focused on redefining the customer engagement landscape with cutting edge innovation and rendering tangible business value across client engagements.

CSS Corp’s Innovation Labs is the epicentre of cutting-edge solutions with a mandate to deliver a solid business ROI to clients. The company’s home-grown solutions like Contelli, an intelligent automation platform, harness new-age technologies to drive business initiatives at digital touchpoints, improve customer satisfaction and increase quality through intelligent business operations. Digital Contact Center 2.0 (DCC 2.0) is a platform that unifies end-user experience, operational efficiency, and engineer productivity, thus eliminating cost and human effort. DCC 2.0 improves customer experience and customer lifetime value at the point of customer interaction.

Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tandon, Chief Executive Officer, CSS Corp said “In today’s era of digital acceleration, organizations are looking beyond the traditional services approach to create performance and outcome-based models that feasibly integrate into existing systems. CSS Corp takes pride in being one of the leading companies that pushes boundaries towards accelerating innovation and seamlessly meets customer and business needs through our portfolio of technology-driven services. We are honoured to be the recipients of the Golden Bridge Awards consecutively for three years in a row, and we will endeavour to keep transforming and creating an impact across the industry.”

Judges from a broad spectrum of industry voices from around the world participated and their average scores determined the 2020 award winners. Winners will be celebrated and presented their awards during a virtual awards ceremony in December.

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CSS Corp Emerges as a Global Leader in ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services 2020 Report

CSS Corp, a new-age IT services and technology support company, today announced that it has been recognized as a Leader in the ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services Global 2020 report by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The report by ISG underlines CSS Corp’s ability towards meeting the needs of enterprises for well-orchestrated intelligent automation capabilities to automate processes and to deliver higher productivity, reduced costs, improved data accuracy and enhanced customer experience. CSS Corp was named a Leader in the AI & Analytics quadrant of the report. It was also positioned as Product Challenger in the Digital Operations quadrant of the ISG Provider Lens™ Contact Center – Customer Experience Services US 2020 report.

The company has received this recognition for its comprehensive suite of services driven by solutions such as Digital Contact Center 2.0 (DCC 2.0) to drive transformation and OpsMAX framework to empower employees, and by exhibiting traits of partnership to seamlessly meet and address the needs of its clients. In addition, its differentiated outcome-based pricing model and expertise in delivering insights for customers has been adding value to its fast-growing portfolio of clients.

“Disruptive technologies and engagement models are accelerating the pace of digital transformation at contact centers as they re-imagine how they can ensure a smooth and frictionless customer experience. CSS Corp has constantly endeavoured to provide world-class end-to-end support, enabled by innovative technology solutions and business models. We are proud to be the leaders in this domain and aim to continue to maximise the value we deliver to our clients,” said Sunil Mittal, EVP, CSS Corp.

“CSS Corp has put AI and analytics to effective use across enterprise clients. The company has exhibited skin in the game with its differentiated pricing models and significant business outcomes that have enabled growth for clients,” said Namratha Dharshan, ISG Lead Analyst.

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Leaders need to be in perpetual mode of listening, understanding & acting to tackle employees’ mental health challenges

In these difficult times when organisations are trying to balance the economic compulsions with employee safety and health, Dr Rahul Kalia, Medical Director, India International SOS, said, “The inability to focus on the emerging mental health and wellbeing challenges amongst the workforce will surely undermine the overall health of the workforce and hence of the organisation in time to come, if not already.”

As companies are working remotely with employees geographically distributed, experts opine there will be a need to increase employee engagement with a greater focus on psychological safety so that people adapt to the new way of working and be more open in admitting their mistakes, without fear.

Working from home full time can sometimes cause one to feel isolated and lonely, which can further cause psychological distress. Therefore, as specialists say, communicating with your co-workers and staying in touch with your colleagues and friends are extremely important to remain mentally fit during these uncertain times.

Need for leaders to listen to their employees’ concerns and problems

Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP and Head of HR (Global) & Corporate Quality, CSS Corp, said organisations need to go the extra mile to support employees in these times of need and to counter the probable seclusion and loneliness that has emerged owing to the remote working conditions.

He said CSS Corp recently introduced a platform, called Turning Point, that allows its employees to directly speak to experts and mental health practitioners, and seek their help towards alleviating the rigours and stress that emerge from working in today’s new normal.

“The innate need for socializing and human contact drives and motivates people. The lack of it thereof can lead to alienation and a disturbed workforce,” Visvanathan said.

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World Mental Health Day: how corporates are ensuring the mental wellbeing of their employees

On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, SocialStory spoke to corporates to understand how they are enabling employees to cope with mental health issues and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Since the onset of the pandemic, IT services company CSS Corp has been mindful about the mental wellbeing of its employees and has been offering sessions and 24×7 counselling support. Launched in April this year, it is motivating employees through its exclusive CHEER framework — ‘C’ stands for Communicating with employees; ‘H’ for Highlighting their accomplishments; ‘E’ for Energising them; ‘E’ for Engaging with them; and ‘R’ for Recognising and Rewarding them. Additionally, it also has an employee assistance programme called the Turning Point — an initiative that focusses on mental health, providing employees with the necessary time and resources to counter problems and strengthen themselves.

“Through this programme, we have ensured that the lines of communication are constantly open so that people can easily have access to professional help, as and when required,” says Satyanarayanan Visvanathan, SVP, Head of HR (Global) and Corporate Quality. With constant feedback from its employees, CSS Corp has been trying to resolve the problems of remote working. “We believe that having a healthy work-life balance is crucial, especially in the current scenario when people are struggling to delineate between work and home. We aim to proactively neutralise burnout, anxiety, stress, and the problems that emerge from working virtually over an extended time,” he notes.

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