New Delhi: Although the incredible pace of digital adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic brought many benefits to consumers around the globe, there has also been one unintended consequence: increased cybercrime.
A team of experts at Pursuit 2021 -- an event on cybersecurity organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India has revealed that India saw the number of cybersecurity breaches increased by 2,000 per cent during the pandemic.
As per Gulshan Rai, India's first Cybersecurity Coordinator and Distinguished Fellow, ORF, there has also been a rise in targeted attacks, during the pandemic and "cyberwar has started".
Although 90 per cent of attacks are traditional attacks, which include phishing, malware, etc, however, the key concern is the rise in the number of targeted attacks (which accounts for 9 per cent currently). Solar winds, Wannacry, are some examples of targeted attacks which are detrimental for any organisation and nation.
"In India, almost every sector has been breached because they all are inter-connected. During the pandemic, the number of breaches increased by 2,000 per cent because we were using ASL or DSL from home. ASL, DSL, fibre, nothing is secured, this whole scenario reflects that your sensitive information is at risk and is being used for a variety of purposes, causing financial fraud, causing a threat to national security," Rai said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs' National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP), which was launched in August 2019, has recorded over four lakh complaints, with about 50 per cent related to financial frauds, revealed Ashok Kumar, Director, Ministry of Home Affairs.
The NCRP portal gives a perspective on what kind of complaints/frauds are trending.
"The recently developed module -- Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System, on the portal has helped us save Rs 5 crore within two to three months," Kumar said.
Under the new module, released with the helpline number 155260, once a complaint is filed with the police, they note down certain parameters of the complaint and once input into the system, it alerts the banks on any suspicious transaction, saving the targeted amount.
The two-day virtual event, held from July 14-15, deliberated upon various aspects of cybercrimes in the financial sector and how technology can play a role in mitigating such attacks. The event saw the participation of about 4,000 delegates and over 130 speakers from across the globe.