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India was the second most cyber-attacked country in Asia-Pacific in 2020


BENGALURU: India was the second-most targeted country in the Asia-Pacific region as far as cybercrimes are concerned, with a 7 per cent share in such incidents globally, a new study by technology major IBM has revealed. 

As per the IBM analysis, the attackers benefitted from the socio-economic challenges brought about by Covid-19 and targeted businesses which were at the forefront of the Covid response such as hospitals, medical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as energy firms powering supply chain.

In India, ransomware (sending suspicious links via emails/messages) to block access to one’s personal files/data) was the most rampant cyber crime accounting for 40 per cent of all attacks. Finance and insurance was the most targeted sector in India (60 per cent), followed by manufacturing and professional services.

The study said a majority of the cyber attacks took place on Indian firms between May-July, 2020. “The 2020 threat landscape in India was largely shaped by the pandemic. As the pandemic’s timeline of events and progress unfolded, so did trends in the attacks shift. Ransomware was the major type of attack in India with a 40 per cent share in the overall threat landscape,” Sudeep Das, Security Software Technical Sales Leader, IBM Technology Sales, India/South Asia, said. 

‘Cyber criminals misused public health data’

“Furt her, digital currency mining and server access attacks hit Indian companies last year. We also witnessed cyber criminals using relief efforts and public health information as spam lures including targeted attacks on critical components of the vaccine supply chain.

These still remain issues in 2021,” Sudeep Das added. Das added that organizations need to strengthen their cloud environments with a zero-trust approach to their security strategy and leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor, detect and contextualize dynamic behaviors and movements across hybrid cloud environments, to verify the legitimacy (or lack of) of a threat and automate a response.

“Use confidential computing for a higher level of isolation for secure enclaves of data. It encrypts data during processing, whereas earlier, data had to be decrypted just before being processed, leaving it potentially vulnerable. In other words, even if cloud environments are compromised, the data will be futile/inaccessible to a malicious actor with technologies like confidential computing,” he pointed out.