Bengaluru: India has been ranked fifth most vulnerable country in terms of cyber security breaches in the world in 2016, after the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia by Symantec’s Internet cyber Security Threat Report of 2017. According to the report the US was at the top of the list for “both the number of breaches by country and the number of identities stolen by country.”
While India’s vulnerability to cyber attacks is high, cases of data breaches are often underreported in the absence of mandatory legal requirements, unlike in the US, Israel and other developed countries.
“Cyber attack cases are under reported because of multiple reasons. People rely more on hardware and software to protect them from breach of data than the cyber security agencies, which are empowered to register complaints and investigate them because they don’t have faith in these agencies and they know that they won’t get any reprieve from them. There’s neither a legal requirement to report the matter to the regulator or the police in the case of cyber theft nor is there a legal obligation to inform the victims that their data has been compromised. It is therefore hard to say the exact number of cyber breaches that may be happening every day or which sectors in India are more vulnerable to them,” said Neeraj Aarora, an advocate on record, Supreme Court, cyber lawyer and international arbitrator.
“Industrialisation of cyber attacks with inbuilt commerce angle is frustrating to cyber security professionals. Hacking, which took off as a hobby some years ago has become a booming business. The hackers are here to stay. They have been hired to break in. Incremental improvements don’t seem to be the answer. Are we even aware of the challenge?” said Sanjay Sahay, Additional Director General of Police and cyber security expert.
The new breed of attacks in the last few months has been more embarrassing for the IT world, especially the cyber security professionals. “Petya ransomware cyber attack in June had brought cyber onslaught home. The breach had forced country’s largest port Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai to shut operations in one of its three terminals. While our capability to soon get back to skeletal normalcy after a cyber breach is good, our preparedness is in response to the challenge. The present day challenges keep changing because of the connectivity. The more we are connected in cyber space the more vulnerable we are to hacks and breaches of data and identity,” he said.