Impact of Digital India

IMPACT OF DIGITAL INDIA

The growth of Digital India has been phenomenal and the world is now paying attention to the second largest online market in the world, majority of which is currently untapped.

As illustrated, this figure is projected to grow to 666.4 million internet users in 2023. The majority of India's internet users are mobile phone internet users, who take advantage of cheap alternatives to expensive landline connections that require desktop PCs and infrastructure. As of 2016, India had 320.57 million mobile phone internet users and forecasts estimate 492.68 million Indian mobile phone internet users by 2022.

Your data sells cheaper than chewing gum

While this has attracted businesses and marketers, unfortunately it has also attracted cyber criminals equally if not more. In the last two years alone, India has faced complex, multi-pronged cyber-attacks across sectors.

 

The country’s second-oldest and second-biggest cooperative bank, Cosmos, witnessed a targeted malware attack on its payment gateway siphoning off nearly Rs 95 crore. New-age startup Zomato, a restaurant app suffered a breach that resulted in compromising the data of 17 million users. Earlier this year, 114 government portals were hacked, of which Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) was the worst attack; 34.5 million Indians’ personal details i.e., Aadhaar, PAN numbers (taxpayer identification codes) and salary details were stolen.

Your data sells cheaper than chewing gum

In the global economy where personal data is considered gold, India presents a prime market for these criminals due to the following factors –

A survey also revealed that 97 per cent IT managers admitted that security expertise is one of the greatest issues in India. While 92 per cent Indian IT managers wish they had a stronger team in place to properly detect, investigate and respond to security incidents and 89 per cent IT managers surveyed believe cyber security recruitment is a challenge.

All this leave an average Indian netizen exposed to a huge amount of risks online. The latest statistics reveal the scale of the problem and it only promises to get more worrying in the immediate future -

 
  • Every minute about 19 people fall victim to identity theft
  • Frauds due to applicants submitting fraudulent contact information has risen by 3% contributing to 18% of all detected frauds.
  • In India identity theft accounts for 77% of the fraud cases in Q1 2015.
  • Overall, identity theft and fictitious identity cases continue to contribute around three-fourths of all detected fraud cases.
  • Amongst various financial products, auto loans, mortgage loans and credit cards have seen the largest number of fraud cases from identity theft represented by 85% of the total detected frauds in Q1 2015
  • Identity theft has observed a rise from 76% in the first quarter of 2014 to 77% in the first quarter of 2015.
  • Persons ages 25 to 64 (8%) had higher prevalence rates of identity theft than persons age 18 to 24 (4%) and 65 or older (6%)
 

While it is convenient for us, citizens, to relinquish all responsibility of cybersecurity and attempt to hold the government and corporates accountable, it is hardly a solution. A large number of attacks can be prevented by following simple methods and keeping a keen eye on telltale signs. A large number of non-vigilant users fall victim to social engineering attacks, resulting in financial loss or leak of personal information.

 

We are at a pivotal point today as the next phase of the digital revolution is in the offing. Cars, houses and a multitude of other devices are connecting to the internet, forming a complex ‘internet of things’ - the time to act is now. Ensuring security of Indian cyberspace is a collective effort – consumers, contributors and regulators need to proactively manage evolving threats.

 

MyDigitalProtection™ focusses on the consumer and aims to empower them with the right tools and services to stay vigilant.