The whole world is reeling from one of the worst pandemics ever seen. Health systems of most countries are under stress, and in a few countries have crumbled from the sheer size of the population infected by a fast-spreading disease. People with low immunity and comorbidities are the worst impacted. The second wave of Covid has taken the world by surprise and the countries which were not prepared for the second, worst surge have been caught off guard and are struggling to contain and manage the disease.
This pandemic will be remembered as a uniquely disruptive period in our lives — but not just as a global health crisis. Online life has digitally transformed, with exponential change at home and work via cyberspace. However, the negative cybersecurity impacts of these online changes have led many experts to summarize the combined events of this year as a growing “cyber pandemic”. As per a govt. report, cyber-attacks amidst this pandemic rose by almost 300% in India. Recently an American cyber intelligence company hinted at a suspected China-linked cyber operation that was focused on India’s electricity grid and other critical infrastructure. The above data highlights that hackers have become more active in the last 12 months, taking advantage of the distraction and confusion all around due to the pandemic. Hackers thrive on such situations to carry out cyber-attacks.
A parallel can be drawn between this health pandemic and the cyber pandemic (CP). CP is widespread across geographies, countries, industry verticals and size of the enterprises. Large defense organizations, cloud service providers, telecom utility providers, critical infrastructures, healthcare enterprises, payment gateways, and financial institutions are suffering from CP. Over 1,000 CXOs were asked about the effects of Covid-19 on enterprise and government organizations in a recent global study done by Tanium and 90 percent of executives surveyed experienced an increase in cyberattacks due to the pandemic.
The recent colonial pipeline ransomware attack and subsequent shutdown has been sending shockwaves through the United States.Unfortunately, majority of the discourse surrounding this cyber incident seems to miss the point: cyberattacks, especially those against our increasingly exposed critical infrastructure, are now part of our digital reality. The U.S. was fortunate that the ransomware intruders did not seek to cause physical destruction by bridging over from the IT systems into the pipeline’s OT systems. Simply put, the colonial pipeline hack could have been far worse than a nuisance to fuel supply chains and impact on consumers wallets.
The only viable and effective answer today to save the life of people is mass vaccination. Besides the best practices of improving one’s general health, the only solution available to people is to build sufficient antibodies to fight the disease. This may not protect people from getting infected with Covid-19 and its multiple strains but will ensure that the damage is minimal and restricted, and the recovery is fast. Looking at the havoc created by the pandemic, pharma companies have created vaccines in a record time to deal with the pandemic. Tough times call for desperate measures and heroic efforts.
There was an initial hesitation in people about the efficacy and side effects of the vaccines, some of which are yet to complete trial phases. But people have realized that the risk to life from Covid is far more than the perceived risk from the vaccines. Thus the initial vaccine hesitancy has been overcome and populace is queuing up for inoculation.
CP is different and more difficult to address compared to health pandemic as the attack vectors in CP are far more and take many different forms, ranging from malware and ransomware to man-in-the-middle attacks, compromised credentials, and phishing. Therefore, the solution to address CP has to be easy to embrace, extremely fast in action and should address current and future threats.
QNu Labs, an indigenous quantum security start-up from Bangalore had anticipated a data apocalypse type of situation happening in the near future. It therefore started building next gen data security products in 2016 using bleeding edge technology based on quantum physics. QNu’s quantum-based cryptographic systems use quantum random number generators to produce quantum encryption keys and uses superposition properties of photons to generate identical symmetric keys at both ends of the communication link. Any unauthorized intrusion into the communication immediately severs the quantum channel—it becomes known instantly that there has been an eavesdropping attack.
Given the dire situation of the cyber pandemic, which is only increasing in size, frequency and impact day by day, it is prudent and the need of the hour to implement the products and solutions based on this latest quantum technology. This technology may be new but it has gone through successful trials and implementation worldwide and, like the Covid vaccines, is ready for mass deployment.
It is time for quantum vaccination of enterprises to protect and minimize the impact from various attack vectors. Quvaxin from QNu consists of two solutions. The first solution (Tropos/Qosmos) upgrades the conventional software-based entropy source to quantum ready entropy source for generating encryption keys and digital certificates. The first jab will ensure instantaneously that the keys and digital certificates have no patterns or corelations of any kind which can be exploited by hackers. The second solution (Armos) takes the ‘data security in transit’ to the level of unconditional security so that no man in the middle can ever get an access to encryption keys, even on an unsecure network.
The process of giving Quvaxin is very simple - easy to use APIs, no disruption in the ongoing business and immediate benefits.
Protecting Powerlines And Pipelines: The Quantum Solution
Data security in a network is a major concern in quantum era. In this whitepaper we demonstrate a practical demonstration and integration of a Differential Phase Shift Quantum Key Distribution (DPS QKD) protocol with commercial router cum encryptor and more.
The lock down has clearly increased workloads to remote, cloud and hybrid environments. The cyber-attacks have just been growing steadily and relentlessly. New victims every day and by the time the impact is understood there is new ransomwares, a new victim impacting organizations across the world.