Technology Other News 02 Aug 2017 Is India ready to co ...

Is India ready to combat security threats to its digital push?

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SANSKRITI TALWAR
Published Aug 2, 2017, 2:25 pm IST
Updated Aug 3, 2017, 7:44 am IST
Norton had earlier hinted that cyber criminals are looking for a target in bulk, and India suits well to them — a large, "vulnerable" population with "money”.
 Norton had earlier hinted that cyber criminals are looking for a target in bulk, and India suits well to them — a large, "vulnerable" population with "money”.

Mumbai: India had been a victim to about 50 cyber attacks affecting 19 financial organisations from November 2016 till June, 2017, a report by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has disclosed.

The government needs to be prepared for the pitfalls that will accompany this tremendous push towards a digital economy, experts say.

“As India has already on-boarded the digital bandwagon, consumers, governments and enterprises of all sizes face equal risks from advanced cyber criminals who, according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), have revealed new levels of ambition in 2016,” Gaurav Agarwal, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Symantec told Deccan Chronicle.

In an interview with Deccan Chronicle, a spokesperson from Norton had earlier hinted that cyber criminals are looking for a target in bulk, and India suits well to them — a large, “vulnerable” population with “money”.

“The financial sector in India has become an easy target for cyber criminals considering the government’s demonetisation drive and the subsequent rise in digital payments,” added Agarwal. “Recent examples of various cyber attacks on institutions across industries remind us of how very often security is still the weakest ink in our digital transformation.”

According to Symantec’s ISTR report, India ranks second highest in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region. Across the globe, India stands fifth among most-affected regions beset by ransomware attacks.

Following CERT-In’s acknowledgment over rising cyber attacks in financial organisations, the government will spend Rs 1,000 crore over a period of five years for research and development programmes dedicated to tackle cyber-security issues in the country, reported news agency PTI.

A report by security firm Palo Alto Networks has revealed that 92 per cent of organisations in India have increased their budget for cyber-security in this financial year. Yet organisations are “struggling to keep up with the increasingly sophisticated cyber-threats and finding appropriate solutions to combat them”.

“We need to focus more on mass awareness on the evolving threat landscape, and on training more professionals to meet the skill gap with cyber soldiers,” Agarwal suggested. “The best way to deter cyber attacks is to consistently have good cyber hygiene and practices in places. This means always reviewing the three pillars of cyber-security — people, process and technology.”

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