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How to stay resilient and genuine in a world of remote everything: Farhana Haque, Group Director – Devices, Microsoft India

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By Farhana Haque, Group Director – Devices, Microsoft India

Be it people, teams, or organizations, the pandemic has put everyone and everything to the test. The tech intensity of any organization, which is the building of new digital capabilities using best-in-class technologies,will define how well it will cope with these challenging times.Technology is enabling business continuity in organizations across sizes and geographies in the current uncertain times.However, it can also be cause for concern. At a time when people are actively seeking information on coronavirus and solutions to overcome this crisis, targeted attacks by cybercriminals are on the rise. COVID-themed content is being used opportunistically.Cyber-attacks are getting increasingly sophisticated.

One such issue is that of non-genuine software. It creates inroads for malware that can soon infect entire IT systems.Malware from counterfeit software and targeted attacks are interlinked – countries with higher prevalence of non-genuine software tend to be more severely impacted by cyberthreats, since the software cannot fend off attacks as effectively.

The latest edition of Microsoft’s Security Endpoint Threat Report highlights that India registered the seventh highest malware encounters (5.89%) across the Asia Pacific region in 2019, which is 1.1 times higher than the regional average.India also recorded the third-highest ransomware encounters across the region, which is two times higher than the regional average.India is among the countries with the highest cryptocurrency mining encounters (second highest in APAC and 4.6 times higher than regional and global average) and drive-by download attacks (140% increase in attack volume) in the last year.

A weak cybersecurity posture to take on these threats puts companies at a significant risk of financial loss and erosion of trust. Committing to building a resilient tech ecosystem means that it is essential for them to choose genuine software. This promises not just productivity and performance, but also best-in-class security and protection as well as hassle-free updates and 24X7 support resources.

Organizations are putting in place necessary access and preventive controls, using cloud storage services to automatically backup important data, leveraging cloud technology to limit attackers’ access to data and helping security operations respond better to attacks. The Zero Trust security model is now an imperative rather than an option. Based on the principle of “never trust, always verify,”this treats each step across the network and each request for access to resources as a unique risk that should be evaluated and verified. Windows 10 offers a multi-layered approach to protecting organizations from modern-day security threats by encrypting data, preventing accidental information leaks by employees, and helping keep everything on lockdown if a device is lost or stolen.

While organizations need to be aware and choose genuine for their business, it’s important for resellers to carry this message to organizations and users and help them stay protected. Customers depend on distributors and resellers to help keep their businesses safe and protect them against any loss of data, productivity, money or reputation. Loss of data including sensitive or business-critical information, instances of identity theft and sluggish PC performance owing to malware often leads users to blame resellers.

The temptation to sell non-genuine software can be real. But there’s too much at stake. Non-genuine software leaves organizations and users vulnerable to significant risks. Problems can multiply when users lose data. Or even worse, their vital information may be exposed to viruses and malware. That can be devastating. And when customers have a problem, it can also have a significant impact on the reseller’s reputation. A small act to make a bigger margin can put at risk the foundational trust of customers.
Helping customers make the right software choice can be enabled by knowing it prior to the purchase: using only licensed software, checking product key sources, not falling into the trap of discounts or cheaper packages and being wary of physical product packaging.

By emphasizing to customers that genuine software ensures high productivity and protection, resellers can achieve steady growth and revenue momentum. In addition, they are assured of support from Windows for any help with technical issues. With genuine software, organizations get a stable and secure digital backbone to ensure business continuity. They gain competitive advantage in the new digital economy, as its assets are effectively secured and regularly strengthened.

Doing business with integrity is good business.

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