October is observed as cybersecurity Awareness Month to raise awareness on the importance of security. 2023 marks the 20th year of Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Dell Technologies endeavors to empower individuals and organizations with the knowledge and tools required to safeguard against these evolving threats.
According to the Dell Technologies 2023 Innovation Index report, just 33% of Indian businesses have evaluated a larger, distributed attack surface for potential risks. With an attack occurring every 11 seconds, cybersecurity can longer be an afterthought.
Cybersecurity is more critical than ever, given the rapid technological advancements and the increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. In an exclusive interaction with ETCIO, Indrajit Belgundi, Senior Director and General Manager, Client Solutions Group, and Ripu Bajwa , Director and General Manager, Data Protection Solutions talk about all things central to their mission– integration of AI, zero trust principles, and a holistic approach to cybersecurity.
Security implications of a digital-first world
Hybrid work is here to stay. With the changing workplace and norms, organizations have to equip their employees with the necessary tools for business continuity and efficiency. But the concept is also inundated with data security threats. According to Enterprise Security Group, 69% of organizations have experienced some type of cyber-attack as a result of a poorly managed internet-facing asset.
Belgundi also reveals another trend on the horizon, “Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated as technology advances, and this is true across industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, BFSI, and telecom.”
Cybersecurity is no more a “patch later” game, rather requires a proactive approach. “The changing tech landscape has shifted the overall business approach to cybersecurity. Continuous monitoring, threat intelligence, and advanced security technologies are now standard practice,” says Bajwa.
The caveat with advanced technologies is that the bad actors have access to them too. The integration of artificial intelligence heightens the challenge of detection and response, 5G and Internet of Things expand the attack surface for cyber threats.
“Therefore, critical infrastructure sectors, such as health, energy and finance, remain susceptible to cyber intrusions, necessitating heightened safeguards against attacks,” Bajwa reiterates.
How Dell helps strengthen the security posture
Dell Technologies’ mission is to drive tech innovation by keeping security at the forefront. And this extends to helping their customers adapt to changing work environments and consumer consumption. Therefore, their approach to designing commercial PCs is evolving too.
“Dell offers one of the most secure commercial PCs with unmatched hardware- and firmware-based protections. Dell Trusted Workspace, our endpoint security solutions portfolio, offers the multiple layers of defense needed to secure anywhere-work,” says Belgundi.
These include commercial devices built with rigorous, state-of-the-art supply chain controls, built-in and built-with hardware and firmware security and highest security posture with robust device support that helps minimize the risk of common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVE) and zero day vulnerabilities. Additionally, Dell Optimizer, an AI and machine learning-enabled software, functions intelligently in the background based on unique user behavior and adapts seamlessly.
Zero Trust is a cybersecurity model that shifts how organizations approach security from reliance solely on perimeter defenses to a proactive strategy that allows only known good activity across ecosystems and data pipelines. Dell Technologies aims to serve as a catalyst for customers to achieve Zero Trust outcomes by making the design and integration of this architecture easier.
“To minimize attack surfaces and better protect organizations, we offer a new vulnerability management service with Dell experts that regularly scan customer environments for vulnerabilities, provide a full picture of exposures and help prioritize patching efforts,” says Bajwa.
Similarly, deep defenses at the BIOS/firmware and hardware levels help establish device trust. Dell SafeBIOS alerts you to BIOS tampering so you can take swift action to quarantine and investigate the device. It allows you to assess a corrupt BIOS, repair it and gain insights that reduce exposure to future threats, adds Belgundi.
How is AI shaping cybersecurity?
This year has been specifically brilliant for AI as it achieved mainstream adoption. Several companies are also looking to infuse the tech to better their cybersecurity strategy. With automation and security, AI has the capability to accelerate digital transformation enabling faster time-to-market, improved customer experiences, and an unmatched efficiency.
Bajwa reveals, “Malicious actors may leverage generative AI to automate and enhance their attacks, making them more efficient and difficult to detect. This could include AI-generated malware and automated hacking tools.
Institutions may face an uptick in AI-enhanced fraud attempts, as AI might help in sophistication of malware and ransomware attempts. AI can also be used to mimic customer behavior and trick security systems.”
Businesses will need to invest more in cybersecurity to defend against these new threats. Companies will have to train their employees to recognize AI-generated threats, such as deepfake videos or convincing AI-generated text in phishing emails. Hence, the business security landscape may see increased collaboration among companies, industries, and government agencies to share threat intelligence and collectively defend against AI-powered attacks. Dell Technologies recommends using advanced security approaches such as zero trust to both protect and contain AI systems.
“Dell’s AI work is focused on both core innovation and making it enterprise grade. We do AI work in the context of enterprise use cases which demand that the technology operate within the environment of enterprises – which means they will not break intellectual property rights, regulatory or security/risk controls,” Bajwa explains.
Dell’s entire commercial portfolio of 2023 is outfitted with AI-On features like ExpressConnect and Intelligent Privacy Features like Onlooker Detect, Look Away Detect, and Express Sign-In. These capabilities address intrusion issues, aid in safe network connections, and help automate the authentication process.
“Our Precision workstations can operate across the spectrum of AI development workloads from model design, training and inferencing to data science, machine learning, image analysis and Generative AI,” says Belgundi.
Achieving the holy trinity of collaboration, security and intelligence
With the inevitability of digital transformation, businesses need to rely on end-to-end solutions that will help achieve greater collaboration, security and intelligence.
“Our 2023 commercial portfolio is geared towards it. The new devices also cater to different user-personas, which means meeting the expectations of employees who want a powerful workstation that can handle intensive workloads while also addressing the needs of workers who need a portable device without sacrificing performance,” Belgundi says.
Belgundi throws light on a varied portfolio, along with the latest 13th Gen Intel® Core™ processors, that assists in creating a modern workspace:
● The new Latitude 9440, is one of the world’s smallest commercial PCs with 16:10 aspect ratio and InfinityEdge QHD+ display, making it an ideal choice for executives, consultants, or salespeople. It comes with the world’s first haptic collaboration touchpad and a zero-lattice keyboard.
● The Latitude 7000 series meets diverse needs. The Latitude 7340/7440 Ultralights are available in a 14-inch display size and are one of the world’s smallest and lightest 13.3-inch and 14-inch premium commercial laptops. Weighing under one kilogram (13 inches) and slightly over one kilogram (14 inches), the devices feature taller 16:10 displays with 5% more screen space for unmatched productivity.
● The Precision 5680, on the other hand, has the world’s smallest footprint for a 16-inch workstation and offers up to Intel® Core™ i9 (45W) processors and up to 64GB of DDR5 memory with the NVIDIA RTX 5000 Ada Generation Laptop GPU. This device is ideal for creators and engineers looking for superior performance and portability.
● The recently launched OptiPlex AIO (All-In-One) Desktop, a 24-inch device with a streamlined design, simplifies customers’ desktop experiences.
● The Dell Ultrasharp 34” Curved USB-C Hub Monitor, with a 3-sided narrow bezel, IPS Black technology, and ComfortView Plus, completes the ecosystem.
Belgundi believes it is essential to consider how a PC maker approaches security along with what to buy. It’s as much about supplier evaluation as product evaluation. “A trusted and experienced secure PC supplier who understands the threat landscape will be able to put that knowledge to use to help you protect your organization as that landscape evolves,” he says.
Dell Technologies offers one of the most comprehensive security offerings for businesses to cater to diverse security needs, enabling businesses to effectively safeguard their infrastructure and data.
“Starting from cloud management, server storage to AI workstations to solve complex problems with machine learning, we deploy, secure, manage and support enterprises end-to-end.” says Bajwa.
To reduce business risk caused by cyberattacks and to create a more cyber resilient approach to data protection, you can modernize and automate your recovery and business continuity strategies and leverage the latest intelligent tools to detect and defend against cyber threats.
Bajwa throws light on a few essentials that secure an entire ecosystem of enterprise infrastructure:
● Dell Technologies PowerProtect Cyber Recovery helps promote cyber resilience by ensuring that a clean copy of data free from corruption can be recovered after a cyber or ransomware attack.
● PowerProtect Cyber Recovery enables cyber resilience by protecting and isolating critical data from ransomware and other cyber threats.
● Dell PowerProtect Data Manager software addresses the increasing need for cyber resiliency and supports Zero Trust principles with new built-in operational security capabilities, such as multi factor authentication, dual authorization, and role-based access controls.
● PowerProtect Cyber Recovery provides a secure digital vault that is logically and physically isolated from the production and backup networks with an operational air gap
“Apart from the solutions, Dell Technologies’ lays a strong focus on consultancy and advisory for a strong security architecture,” adds Bajwa.
“Flexibility, digital literacy, and the ability to embrace change will be crucial for individuals and organizations to thrive in this evolving landscape. The future of work and technology is dynamic and will be marked by rapid advancements and continuous adaptation,” Bajwa concludes.
“Security takes a village. And today, true security includes protection at the hardware and firmware level, as well as software. That’s why Dell makes an enormous effort to curate an ecosystem of fully vetted best-of-breed partners that offer protection against advanced threats,” concludes Indrajit.
NOTE: This feature is a part of ETCIO Brand Connect Initiative