Despite making leaps in IT, India seems to be seriously lagging in terms of cyber security. The hacking of an estimated 3.2 million Indian customers’ debit cards is a case in point. This is one of the worst incidents to have happened in cyber India. Cyber security has always been an issue that often gains prominence in the aftermath of an online data breach. The business community strongly feels that there should be a robust system of cyber security.
Of late, the integration of physical, biological and digital entities has led to the proliferation of a massive amount of data, aided by high quality connectivity, higher analytics, personalized computing etc. These trends are fine, but they bring to the fore the risks because of the operational, strategic and systemic issues involved.
The cyber threats today encountered in India are destructive to business, leading to decline in efficiency and productivity, eventually leading to avoidable wastage of resources. Thus, the consequences are destructive. Assume you have an automated car run by a program. If a hacker intervenes and leaves into it malware, it could kill tens or hundreds with just the click of a mouse. The following consequences are likely.
Breach of intellectual property rights
When an IP breach happens, the consequences can span months or years. This leads to profitability loss, and loss of business to rivals.
Loss of important data
Data transfers are done by ESI creating, editing and communicating and storing data in digital databases, especially on the cloud. If the data is breached it may lead to destructive consequences, such as the data going to unauthorized users.
How to combat?
Because of several cyber crime incidents that have ravaged public trust in businesses, people today are apprehensive about performing everyday transactions, such as buying things on ecommerce sites.
Cyber breaches are too complicated. They can’t be left to be any single party and need to be dealt with collectively. Across the world, private and government parties have negotiated on issues of liability, data ownership, frequency of security auditing and the like.
According to World Economic Forum’s Cybercrime Project, when dealing with cybercrime, things should happen based on transparency and accountability. It recommends review of the existing laws and conventions, as well as discussion and cooperation on realistic ways on how to deal with cybercrime.
Here are a few recommendations to deal with cyber crimes:
The public and private sector organizations should mutually share information on cybercrimes, threats and their outcome.
They need to work to bring new platforms if required, strengthen the existing ones, and leverage these platforms to enable more information-sharing, and to improve investigation and strengthen penal laws.
Public and private sectors should cooperate to accept and propagate the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
Issues relating to encryption, cloud servers, access to data and protecting privacy should be mutually negotiated to reach a solution acceptable to all the parties.
From national perspective, all forms of sensors to chips to data centers should be protected.
Using targeted signals, machine learning and behavior monitoring malware should be detected.
Authorities should respond on time and take remedial steps to plug the loopholes.
Regardless of the private or public sector taking the ownership, efforts should be focused on building a comprehensive cyber crime combat strategy so that the interests of both the parties can be protected.