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Pandemic witnesses rampant cybercrimes: Why India should worry

Cybercrime is a big ‘business’ today for cybercriminals, hackers, and threat actors. It can compromise anyone's data be it the government, a firm or an individual.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: March 20, 2021 11:51 IST
Pandemic witnesses rampant cybercrimes: Why India should worry
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Pandemic witnesses rampant cybercrimes: Why India should worry 

Cybercrime is a big ‘business’ today for cybercriminals, hackers, and threat actors. It can compromise anyone's data be it the government, a firm or an individual. The government in the past several years pushed for developing a cybersecurity infrastructure to prevent possible crisis. Recently, there was a report doing the rounds claiming that Chinese hackers attempted to hijack India’s vaccine infrastructure to access the cold storage facilities and disrupt the supply chain. This shows how much cybersecurity is important to prevent breach.

India which is considered the technology back-office of the world and is vulnerable to such attacks, but the fast adoption of next-gen cybersecurity products by companies as the industry transforms during the pandemic has led to a boom in the cybersecurity market. Definitely, the Indian market does not want to miss out on the opportunity to position itself as a hub for the emerging opportunity. Amongst all the cybersecurity key products, perimeter security, gateway security, and operations security are the most in-demand key products from the cybersecurity sector. 

According to Data Security Council of India (DSCI), an industry body on data protection in India set up by NASSCOM, with a current base of 225+ companies, the landscape has evolved and grew from 175+ companies in 2018. In terms of revenue, the cybersecurity product industry grew 2x times in the last 2 years. When compared to the IT product Industry CAGR in 18-20, the cybersecurity product industry CAGR was ~6X times higher. 

Karmesh Gupta, CEO and Co-founder, WiJungle, said that hackers and online criminals have become much more sophisticated and cybercrimes have increased. Attacks on embedded systems have also increased and the menace poses a big threat not only to large companies, but also to smaller and medium-sized businesses.

Going by a latest survey, with more people working from home, there has been a 25% rise in cyber threats. Indian companies are a soft target for cyber-attacks as hackers steal important data and leak it on public platforms. The survey said that 94% of security professionals believe that the pandemic has only increased the level of cyberthreat. They said that it is difficult to return to pre-pandemic levels with 73% of Indian organisations reporting at least a 25% increase in the number of cyberattacks. All the increasing threats will require organisations to focus on cybersecurity to keep data safe and guard the reputation. Recently, a new study by technology major IBM revealed that India was the second-most targeted country in the Asia-Pacific region as far as cybercrimes are concerned. The country accounted for more than 7 per cent share in such cases worldwide.

Speaking about the challenges, Gupta said, "Shortage of cybersecurity professionals and lack of regularised data infrastructure need an urgent attention. For this, a shift in education on computer science with a focus on security is needed. You should know the ways that cybercriminals are using to hack a company’s digital infrastructure for malicious purposes. Hackers are even creating their own AI systems to disrupt businesses."

He added that a new wave of AI-powered solutions and products keep bad actors on their toes while giving IT teams much-needed relief.

"The strategy should involve using update data encryption, creating timely data back-up, firewalls, and anti-malware software. Implementing this alongside and awareness on the topic can be the best bet to cut the threat," he said.

He also pointed that absence of a governing data protection legislation, coarse cybersecurity framework deployed by organisations and poor cyber hygiene practices of Indian citizens presents additional challenges.

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