Each year, the number of cyber crimes reported across the country continues to increase at a significant pace. The nature of crimes, on the other hand, ranged from petty online frauds to lottery scams and sexual harassment. The sector most targeted though, seem to be in the banking and finance segment. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and most services moving to the online space, a higher risk extends to other sectors as well. The latest of these involved Big Basket, the online grocery platform with data of some 20 million users in November 2020.
Despite the private sector bearing the brunt of crime online, government agencies have also experienced espionage. One such security breach was that involving India’s unique citizen identification system- the Aadhaar, compromising extensive personal information including bank details, address and biometrics of over a billion Indians. In 2020, alone, the cost of data breaches amounted to about two million U.S. dollars in the country.
One of the biggest impediments in curbing cyber crimes has been the lack of awareness on cyber hygiene. Even when crimes were reported to authorities, the infrastructure and process to tackle such cases were largely inefficient. In recent years, the government invested about four billion rupees setting up the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center to expediate investigations. Another area that could ease cyber crime numbers is the expansion of the cyber security market in the country. More investments in the sector could combat increased threats that are likely to continue with the rollout of the 5G network and the establishment of smart cities.