NEW DELHI: A total of 39,730 cybercrime incidents were reported in India during the first 10 months of 2016, as against 44,679 and 49,455 cases observed during the years 2014 and 2015, respectively, according to an Assocham-PwC joint study released today.
“The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has reported a surge in the number of incidents till October 2016 with close to 39,730 security incidents,” noted the study.
With more time to detect and time to respond to these attacks, the return on investments for cyberattacks is greater in emerging markets like India as compared to developed markets like the US, the study observed.
Demonetisation has given an impetus to e-wallet services. Mobile wallets have witnessed a massive rise in app downloads. With programmes for financial inclusion, digitisation of the economy and increased use of smartphones, online transactions are already quite popular among the urban Indian population.
The result has been that leading mobile wallets have witnessed growth of upwards of 100 per cent in app download numbers and have similarly seen an increase of upwards of 400 per cent increase in wallet recharges.
This smartphone revolution has led to the emergence of e-commerce, m-commerce and other services, includ¬ing app-based cab aggregators, who encourage digital payments for use of various services.
The value added services such as cash back, bill pay¬ment facilities, loyalty points, rewards and ease of use have promoted increased usage of such digital platforms. “As the country is experiencing a digital revolution, the impact of this transformation makes it imperative for financial service players to revisit their cyber security resilience,” the study suggested.
“The number of incidents occurring in banking sys¬tems have increased in the last five years. In the month of October 2016, an ATM card hack hit Indian banks, affecting around 3.2 million debit cards. Hence, efforts are needed to enhance cyber security as businesses and citizens embrace this new digital wave,” it said.
Ajeet Bajpai, Director General, National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre, NTRO, said that post demonetisation banking and financial sec¬tor has become the most critical. He also cautioned that earlier (cyber) threats were of nuisance value, now they are disruptive and may become destructive.
Crisis response and recovery strategies will have to step up along with the increased digital footprint. Security awareness of all the stakeholders will be a vital pillar of a secure cashless society, said the study.