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Cyber Security: The Challenge
Critical infrastructure is a soft target for many hackers. Every user and device that tries to access any application or system must be verified before access is granted
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Cybersecurity is the fastest-growing global concern in the world. With rising digital space, platforms are growing at an accelerating rate. India, as factually stated, is a hugely populated country with an incredibly large digital space. Cyber is the target market of many international businesses for its potential growth and capacity. Youth all over the world is consuming digital information in abundance akin to the speed of light. Increasing the risk of cyber-attacks for all private or public organizations and institutions.
Out of all the crimes, cybercrime is increasing at an F1 speed faster than the Covid-19 spread. Protecting data breaches has become one of the primary objectives of big and small businesses. Some researchers predict cybercrime to be the cause of the next World War, the seeds of which have been sown. The country which is ahead of the game is expected to conquer the world. The world will witness an increase in the value of ethical hackers, to protect databases and shield organizations from informational theft.
Is India prepared for an alleged breach of the power grid, as the Russians did in Ukraine via cyber-attacks? According to the CLSA report, the value of India’s digital payments is going to increase three-fold, from 300 billion dollars in FY21 to 1 trillion dollars in FY26.
Critical infrastructure is a soft target for many hackers. Every user and device that tries to access any application or system must be verified before access is granted.
* India has faced over 18 million cyber threats in Q1 2022: Norton
* Cybercriminals can infiltrate 93 per cent of company networks
* As per the data of Computer Emergency Response Team, India has witnessed a three-fold increase in incidents related to cybersecurity in 2020 as compared to 2019 contributing to 1.16 million breaches. The number of cases is estimated to increase. (Source: business-standard)
* By 2025, cybercrime is expected to cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025 to the world. This would be the third largest economy in value after the US and China.
An augmented increase in the number of connected devices. Cisco is expecting 30 billion connected devices by the year 2023. Each connected device (camera, laptop, streaming video, intercom, sensors) represents an attack surface where hackers can enter your system, which can be an avenue into your data.
Digitalization is a part of urbanization; the technologies are only going to get more advanced if not the least. Speed, connectivity, network, money, and data are some of the interesting areas for hackers. In the past, we have witnessed recognized banks of India under the strike of not one, but two-three cyber-attacks.
According to the government, till June there have been more than 674,021 cyberattacks this year in the country. Since 2019, there have been three million such cases.
These security flaws and cyber threats require us to safeguard networks and computers.
Employees of an organization are more prone to cyber-attacks due to a lack of cyber awareness. How to protect their computer systems and wire networks from cyber hacking? Cyber security experts are needed to help combat everything from financial crisis to terror attacks. It is the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks in any educational institution, govt, or corporate organization. The cyber risk is getting higher due to increased digital space, and heavy utilization of digital information. Take, for example, the upcoming surge of Artificial Intelligence and Metaverse. If not run in a regulated manner, can deeply affect human health.
Cyber security protects servers, computers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. Cybersecurity awareness training is important because it teaches students and employees how they can protect themselves from cyber-attacks. Students will learn about phishing scam s, ransomware, malware, and other computer threats. This is necessary for all to keep the environment safe and secure.
As per Forbes report, cyber incidents tops the Allianz Risk Barometer for the second time in survey’s history (44 per cent of responses), Business interruption drops to a second (42 per cent) and Natural catastrophes rank third (25 per cent), up from sixth in 2021.
Cyber Attacks in India
* Cosmos Bank Cyber Attack, Pune (2018) – lost approx. 94.42 crores.
* Hacking of ATM System (2018) – about 300 ATM users got hacked & 20 lakh
rupees were compromised.
* UIDAI Aadhaar Software Hacked (2018) – more than 200 Indian govt. sites got hacked & about 1.1 billion Indian Aadhar card details got leaked, and the list can go on.
Lack of information works like a key for the scammer, and cybersecurity is the practice of deploying policies, processes, people, and technologies to protect the organization and its critical systems, and sensitive information from cyber-attacks. Organizations have become far more vulnerable to cyber threats because digital information and technology are now so heavily integrated into our day-to-day work. Cyber-attacks which target both critical infrastructure and information, are also becoming far more sophisticated.
Public media, social media, public security, mobile device security, removable media (eg: USB Sticks), Smartphones, SD Cards, CDs, Phishing Attacks (most efficient attacking system for cybercriminals), Cloud Security, Passwords and Authentication, Working Remotely, Internet & Emails, Social Engineering, and Physical Security are some of the major topics for the awareness on Cyber Security.
Cyber threats constitute a significant risk for businesses. It is a challenging segment as there is a lot of work that needs to be done on this side of the section. By far, there cannot be 100 per cent protection against cyber-attacks; meaning it is difficult to protect your data with only organizational or technological practices. What can be done is the minimization of cyber-attacks. E-payment systems like online banking, e-trading platforms, credit/debit cards are under national cyber security risks.
Types of Cyber Attacks
* Malware Attacks
The term Malware is used to describe malicious software, includes spyware, viruses, ransomware, and worms. Malware breach happens during network vulnerability, especially when a user clicks on an unknown, suspicious, or dangerous link via email attachment which then installs a risky software.
* Phishing Attacks
It is one of the most infamous cyber-threat. The practice phishing is when fraudulent communications appear usually through emails from a reputable source. The agenda of attackers is to steal sensitive information like login details, credit card, or to install malware on the device of the victim.
* MitM Attacks
Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks, also known as eavesdropping attacks, occur when attackers insert themselves into a two-party transaction. Once the attackers interrupt the traffic, they can filter and steal data.
* DNS Tunnelling
Denial of a service Attack, SQL Injection, Zero-day Exploit are some of the other cyber-attacks.
More and more attention needs to be put on the seriousness of the potential next World War due to Cyber Attacks. Protection of data for any nation has become a crucial aspect of saving private or confidential information. This can be done via:
* Cyber Risk Management
* Restrict Sharing Information with Unknown Domains
* Restrict Data Access & Backup
* Raise Awareness of Cyber Risks
* Cyber Insurance
* Hardening Security Systems
* Banks need to guard & be alerted 24/7 to be aware of any unusual activity and protect systems in real-time.
The success of Cyber Security depends on its efficiency and continual refinement of methods based on risk management. Private organizations hold troves of sensitive personal data, as a sizable quantity of critical infrastructure is managed by the private sector in India. The new approach must also acknowledge that the capacity to strategically counterattack is often the best defence in a cyber-war, and the technology controls are not the only line of protection against the rising cyberattacks. Now, many security officials and leading organizations are critically examining the cyber-risk culture for its definite improvement.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.