Why digital India is vulnerable to new age cyber attacks

Even as governments and economies are coming to terms with the new normal and gearing up for long term impact of the crisis, technology innovators have been working overtime to design solutions which could help retain operations and growth. Supported by government policies and innovations in emerging technologies like AI, ML, IoT etc., India has been steadily inching towards a technology enabled economy.

However, with the rise of connected devices, efficient internet penetration, and widespread digitisation of multiple sectors, including education, finance, healthcare, retail, and even agriculture and logistics, comes the threat of cyber-attacks which can cause not only monetary losses but compromise data privacy and put the economy and lives in danger. As of the first quarter of 2020, India already recorded a 37% rise in cyber-attacks. Risks like data leakage, connection to unsecured Wi-Fi networks, phishing attacks, ransomware, spyware, apps with weak encryption (also known as broken cryptography) are some of the common cyber threats plaguing us. IoT and connected devices have also reported increased cases of data breaches.

Being the second largest consumer for smart devices and a country with one of the largest base of internet consumers, India continues to remain a sitting duck, vulnerable to several national and international cyber-attacks. Some of the key reasons for this vulnerability can be listed as:

  • Outdated systems and processes: While we do enjoy smart personal devices, a large part of corporate and business technology systems continue to depend on outdated or legacy infrastructure, with poor or inadequate cyber security protection.
  • Accelerated digital adoption, over a short span of time: The widespread digital adoption across public and private sectors, has left little or no time for the proper development of a backend cyber security infrastructure, putting a large amount of data at risk.
  • Limited understanding about cyber security: The understanding of cyber security and its prevention continues to be limited to installation of antivirus and malware protection software on individual computers/ devices. Even as cyber-crimes are getting more and…