KOCHI: During the inaugural event of the 16th C0C0N conference, National Cybersecurity Coordinator, MU Nair, shed light on the alarming state of cybersecurity in India, emphasizing the urgent need for heightened measures to protect the nation’s digital landscape.
Rising Transactions and Security Concerns
National Cybersecurity Coordinator, MU Nair, brought attention to the burgeoning digital landscape in India. He said it is predicted that there will be an astonishing 1 billion transactions occurring daily in the finance gateways by 2025. In September, India made 360 million transactions a day.
These numbers underline a significant shift in consumer behavior, largely driven by the proliferation of smartphones and an evolving FinTech domain. Notably, August witnessed over 10 billion transactions valuing over 15 billion rupees, showcasing the rapid growth in the digital sector.
However, this surge in digital transactions has also brought about a growing concern for cyber and data security. Nair highlighted the need for immediate and robust initiatives to secure the digital ecosystem and protect the interests of citizens through a strong regulatory framework.
Alarming Cyber Threats and Attacks
Revelations from the conference indicated a grim reality—cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and rampant. According to research data, a staggering 58% of malicious cyber activities were delivered via the web, with information disclosure being a prevalent vulnerability. Indian organizations face an average of 2,168 cyber-attacks per week over the last six months, far surpassing the global average of 1,165 attacks.
An alarming incident occurred in August, where a major ransomware attack impacted the cloud system, compromising a significant amount of data, including the US government’s email servers and those of various other nations.
Citing another example of increased cyber attack Nair said, we were ready for cyber attacks around the G20 summit where the world was watching India. “We were prepared two weeks in advance of G20 summit. Indian digital infrastructure was bombarded with attack around the around,” he said.
These events emphasized the urgent need for enhanced cybersecurity measures, especially in safeguarding cloud services.
The Perils of Inadequate ICT Asset Protection
As technology advances, so do the strategies employed by cybercriminals. National Cybersecurity Coordinator stressed the critical importance of securing ICT (Information and Communication Technology) assets. Misconfigurations of these assets have been a major contributor to data breaches, leading to significant financial losses. Highlighting the need for comprehensive protection, Nair emphasized the importance of learning from these incidents and fortifying the ICT fabric of the country.
The Way Forward: A Unified Effort
Given the gravity of the cyber threats and the rapidly evolving technology landscape, a unified and collaborative effort is essential. MU Nair emphasized the involvement of cybersecurity professionals from various sectors—government, academia, industry, and civil society—in addressing these concerns. He reiterated the importance of proactive vulnerability identification and policy creation to counter the ingenuity of cybercriminals.
Future Challenges: IoT and Beyond
With the proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) devices expected to surge, the future of cybersecurity appears challenging. Nair predicted a steep increase in cyber threats as these devices become an integral part of our lives. He emphasized the need for preparedness and collaboration to tackle this impending threat effectively.
Events like the c0c0n conference play a crucial role in nation-building and fostering collaboration among professionals to secure the cyber landscape. The need for continuous learning, adaptation, and collective efforts to protect the digital sphere has never been more paramount.
16th edition of the cocon conference serves as a rallying point for cybersecurity professionals to come together and fortify the nation’s cyber ecosystem. The insights shared and lessons learned during this event are vital in shaping policies and innovations to combat evolving cyber threats.
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