Amid a significant rise in cyberattacks during the COVID-19 pandemic, one roadblock in international collaboration on the issue is lack of incentives for corporates to share information about such incidents, and instead risk reputational damage, Vishal Salvi, chief information security officer and head of the Cyber Security Practice at Infosys, said.

He was speaking at a webinar on ‘Regional collaboration to achieve a safe and trusted Cyberspace’ organised by the Bengaluru Chapter Committee of the Indo-Australian Chamber of Commerce. To a query on challenges in international collaboration between large firms and governments, Mr. Salvi said the first challenge is there is no incentive for an organisation to truly collaborate and share details of attacks and incidents in real time because there is a fear and risk of reputational damage. “We need to work towards finding out how to incentivise organisations to be open in terms of sharing and collaborating,” he said.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, attackers had become more motivated and the number of phishing and ransomware attacks had seen an “extraordinary rise,” he said. Mr. Salvi pitched for an international cooperation ecosystem to apprehend individuals behind different cybercrimes.

“… we’ve not really worked as industries, as governments, as law enforcement [agencies] to come together to create a single international cooperation ecosystem so that we are able to apprehend and catch individuals behind these different cybercrimes,” he said.

Tobias Feakin, Ambassador for Cyber Affairs, Government of Australia, also part of the discussion, said his government had seen a rise in the number of threat actors it was dealing with.

He added that it was seeing a lowering of the bar for entry into cybercrime. While previously one would need to be technically proficient, he said, “now, a motivated individual can, for a relatively low sum of money, download tools and apply themselves in the criminal domain.”

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