The year 2020 was not a pleasant year for many. For Indian industries, it wasn’t just the deadly virus that imposed their challenges. They fell victim to countless cyber threats. Let us discuss some of these attacks and the measures companies have taken in order to prevent them. Further on, we shall also shed some light on the current state of the Cyber Security industry and the demand for Cyber Security professionals in today’s digital world.
In October 2020, Bharatmatrimony.com fell prey to a brutal data breach. The Indian match-making website’s user data was leaked on the dark web after it underwent an SQL injection vulnerability. According to Cyble, an Atlanta-based Cyber Security firm, sensitive information like names, phone numbers, user IDs, etc., were leaked on the dark web.
Attackers did not even spare the Snacks manufacturing company.
Haldiram’s servers were attacked by hackers who encrypted their systems and demanded a ransom of US $7,50,000 for access. The company lodged an FIR against the hackers.
In July 2020, Dunzo, a Google-owned on-demand delivery startup, officially confessed that it had suffered a data breach attack. The attack exposed user email addresses and phone numbers. However, according to the company’s CTO, no transactional payment details were leaked.
Customers who shop for groceries online may enjoy the comfort it brings, but their data is at massive risk as well. In November 2020, Big Basket, a well-known online grocery store, witnessed a vicious data breach. Over 20 million users’ transactional data was sold on the dark web.
Educational platforms WhiteHat Jr and Unacademy also faced Cyber Attacks the same year. As we can see, Cyber Attackers do not target any specific domain. With the rise of online payments, any e-commerce company can be a potential target for attackers.
A tech news portal called ‘Bleeping Computer’ first reported that card data belonging to over 9 million Indians was breached from the servers of an e-marketplace called ClickIndia and a neobank Chqbook. The stolen user data was sold for bitcoins amounting to over a thousand dollars.
Even payment processing companies have fallen prey to such attacks on multiple occasions. In August 2020, Juspay’s payment servers were accessed in an unauthorized manner. As a result, 100 million users’ data was leaked on the dark web. The data included names, mobile numbers, and email addresses of the cardholders, along with the first and last digits of cards.
Amazon India, Flipkart, Swiggy and other e-commerce platforms were in collaboration with Juspay for payment transactions. According to Amazon, no after-effects of the breach were reflected on their platform.
In November 2020, the HDFC bank in India could not access the UPI payments, credit and debit card transactions, and fund transfers using net banking services. The reason for this inconvenience was an unexpected power outage that lasted for over an hour.
The Current State Of India’s Cyber Security
According to Cyfirma – a Cybersecurity firm, state-sponsored Cyber Attacks rose by a shocking 400% and Phishing attacks witnessed a 1,100% increase in 2020.
Consequently, the current susceptibility of companies to Cyber Attacks demanded immediate attention. An investigation has been set into motion by the Reserve Bank of India. The investigation would carry out multiple other steps to understand the situation and find solutions for the same. One such measure is determining the effectiveness of the latest PCI-DSS standards that involve international best practices for storing payment data.
RBI has also demanded the major industry stakeholders, including the Payments Council of India, to improve the PCI-DSS standards. However, it is immensely challenging for the payment industry to isolate sensitive information in a few servers and supervise it directly. By April 2021, RBI will put out its payment-aggregator guidelines. However, the question arises – What should companies do until proper rules and guidelines have been set into action? What can be done to prevent these lethal data breaches?
The answer is simple yet often overlooked – awareness. Most of the time, it is the ignorance of those in charge that leads to the possibility of a successful Cyber Attack. Proper research and understanding of the preventive mechanism against various kinds of Cyber Attacks can increase the chances of not succumbing to them at least.
Not to forget, companies should not compromise investing in Security solutions. They must install robust security software to detect and prevent unauthorized and suspicious activities.
There is a great demand for skilled Cyber Security professionals in the business world. From small startups to well-established business firms, industries have realized the importance of Cyber Security. With the growing rate of such vicious internet attacks, businesses have no option but to upgrade their security levels.
According to the report ‘Cyber Security India Market: What lies beneath,’ based on a joint study carried out by PwC India and the Data Security Council of India (DSCI), India’s Cyber Security industry will grow from USD 1.97 billion in 2019 to USD 3.05 billion by the year 2022, having a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.6.%, almost 1.5 times the worldwide growth rate of Cyber Security expenses.
As per the ‘2020 Cybersecurity Workforce Study,’ the Cyber Security career experienced a notable rise to 3.5 million current working professionals. This means that the year 2020 witnessed a 25% increase in the workforce than the year 2019. The research also indicates that there is a global workforce demand for 3.12 million professionals in the industry.
To sum up, the current state of the nation’s Cyber Security is unable to stop attackers from targeting businesses and online platforms. There is a growing demand for trained professionals and thus, individuals who dream about a career in this field should build their skill sets under the right guidance.
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This 11-month online instructor-led program is the only program in India that completely focuses on offensive Cyber Security technologies. Upon successful completion of the course, candidates get a joint certification from HackerU, Israel and Jigsaw Academy. Over and above all these, the program also offers 100% Guaranteed Placement* to its learners post successful completion.