MUMBAI: A cashless economy is possible only when a country has high internet speeds and high cybersecurity. Though India is going through demonetisation, a major aim of which is to promote digital transactions, the country figures poorly in the global cyber stakes. The country is 96th in terms of download speed and 105th in terms of average bandwidth availability.
It also has a record of poor internet security, which is progressively becoming worse. While in download speed India is behind even Bangladesh and Nepal, it tops the world in terms of ‘ransomware’ attacks. These assaults target banks and establishments with sensitive, confidential information.
Users and experts alike are worried about growing cybercrime, with almost zero conviction. Cyberexperts say the public in India are wary of cyber transaction for fear of falling victim to hacking attacks that steal personal data and in the face of which banks and the police more often than not plead helplessness.Read more ↓
Experts say the government should simultaneously give a thrust to expanding support infrastructure and vigilance to ensure safer online monetary transactions. When it comes to cybercrime, India is 6th in the world. The incidence of cybercrime in the country has doubled in just a year.
In terms of availability of bandwidth, Sri Lanka, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and several other countries are far ahead. Cyber experts welcome the digitization of transactions, but lament the deplorable condition of IT infrastructure and education, which according to them has increased vulnerability .
Deputy commissioner of police (cybercrime) Sachin Patil emphasises the need for awareness. “In card-based transactions, no one should disclose pin number or OTPs to anybody over the phone.People give fake calls claiming their association with banks and ask security details. Always swipe your card in front of yourself as sometimes it is swiped in skimmer devices which read your magnetic data on the card,” he said.
Endorsing reports by Kaspersky Lab and Akamai, which suggests that India tops the world in ransomware attacks and is among the top nations where web applications are targeted the most, cyberexpert Vijay Mukhy said even a person like him thinks twice before doing online monetary transactions.
“Pathetically, we don’t have deterrence in India as we have a very poor rate of prosecution and conviction of hackers. Going digital and cashless is a good idea, but we need to have a deterrence ecosystem. Banking is very vulnerable. Recently, the SBI took back 32 lakh debit cards because they were hacked. This happened two months ago, but we still have no clue as to who the hacker was. This situation emboldens the hackers,” he said.
“Hackers are young intelligent professionals and to tackle them the cyber police should comprise equally intelligent professionals. We are not spending enough money on training our cyber police abroad. They need the latest equipment, which they don’t have. Sadly , we have labour courts, but we don’t have cyber courts. So there’s no prosecution and no conviction.”