Growing Internet users gets Hacker’s attention in India

The number of Indians to go online is increasing every year. And this number has now got the attention of the hackers.

With over 450 million (4.5 crore) smart phone users and over 550 million (5.5 crore) internet users, the country’s becoming a lucrative spot for the hackers. Of the 550 million, nearly 70% of the subscribers are based in urban locations and rest of the 30% (approx.194 million) is based in rural areas.

The threat of hackers has made many Indian businesses to re-consider their strategies against phishing and other user-focused attacks.

As per a report by KPMG, nearly 86 per cent of the consumers in India are concerned about eavesdropping of their conversations or theft or misuse of their messages through their devices. But the hackers’ threat is not limited to cell phones and is bigger than ever.

The proliferation of connected and IoT (Internet of Things) devices has made a multiple impact on areas with respect to data security and privacy. And, the IoT devices are yet to receive well-defined mandatory data security requirements by the regulators.

The data is also spread more widely than ever. Around 87 per cent of the Indian consumers are concerned about the misuse or improper distribution of their information by the retailers. There has been no definite adoption of cyber security means in India’s retail domain too.

Besides phones, wearable devices like smartwatches and health gadgets are the next frontier for cyber security. As the wearable tech is dependent on AI and predictive technology, it is highly data driven and analytics intensive.

That also poses a threat of data-privacy. The applications of in the healthcare and fitness sector are getting bigger. The recent spate of cyber attacks only highlight the security risk that the modern individual is getting exposed to.

Measures to strengthen data security

Though the industry is building a holistic ecosystem that can track, guide and design individualized plans for each individual, at lower costs, the consumers and business must follow few simple steps to ensure security. These are more of precautionary measures and can be in place with zero investment and very less time.

–        Customers must keep unique, complex password for banking and other financial online accounts.

–        Customers must use a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) when available to provide an extra layer of security on accounts. For others, use a password manager to keep them organised and readily available.

–        Customers must always be cautious of IoT devices on any network. They must change the factory default passwords immediately when unboxing their devices.

–        Customers must always be wary of clicking on emails from unknown sources. The deals that look too good to be true are never true.

–        Customers and employees must train themselves on ‘how to spot a phish’. Cyber criminals mostly use look-alike spam to trap victims with links to bogus websites.

–        Businesses too shall use a layered security strategy to ensure protection at multiple levels so as to avoid attacks from different angles.