Cyber threats pose serious challenges to India`s digital transformation dreams – WION

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India must understand the safety and security at a time when it is inclined towards going digital. But there are challenges 

India must understand the safety and security at a time when it is inclined towards going digital. But there are challenges 
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting and recovering computer systems, networks, devices, and programme against cyber attacks of any kind. Amid an astronomical increase in the use of digital technologies in day-to-day life, cybersecurity has become significant. 
In India, the government is keen towards digitalisation, which is crucial for the nation’s growth and development, as it wants to make services available to citizens electronically through improved online infrastructure. 
The government aims at increasing internet connectivity to digitalise the economy as the initiative includes plans to connect rural areas with high-speed internet networks. 
However, at a time when the country is inclined towards going digital, the nation must understand the safety and security around it. 
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WION spoke to Maninder Bharadwaj, who is the Global Head of cybersecurity and Risk Management, at Tech Mahindra. 
Bharadwaj explained that cyber threats are constantly evolving, exposing vulnerabilities in the digital infrastructure and impacting individuals and organisations across diverse sectors and industries. 
“With the rise of new technologies like AI, cybercriminals have been able to create more advanced ways to launch attacks,” he said. 
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Recently, a report by Palo Alto Networks revealed that India faces a substantial risk of cyberattacks targeting its critical infrastructure, public sector, and essential services. 
As per the report, 67 per cent of Indian government and essential service entities reported encountering a surge of over 50 per cent in disruptive attacks.
Apart from that, S Somanath, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also said that the country’s space agency is facing more than 100 cyber-attacks daily. These are a couple of examples which show the gravitas of the situation, and how they may impact India’s future.
He said that ransomware attacks, phishing attacks, system intrusion, confirmed data disclosure, mobile threats, and social engineering are some of the common cyber threats in India that have affected individuals and organisations. 
According to recent reports, less than 40 per cent of organisations have completely addressed emerging cyber risks. Around 47 per cent rank cloud-related threats as their top threat scenario, and 33 per cent rank cloud security as an investment priority. 
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Bharadwaj said that “considering the increasing amount of personal and sensitive information being stored digitally, it is essential to implement strict cyber-security policies to neutralise attacks and improve resilience”. 
He said that historically, the number of attackers was directly related to the number of malicious humans involved in the attacks, however, in the present scenario. the number of threat actors is proportional to the amount of virtual AI-enabled armies they can control. 
“As a result, the scale of threat actors and their effectiveness has significantly changed. Attackers also use deep fake technology to create convincing fake audio or video content, spread disinformation and manipulate public opinion,” he said. 
Bharadwaj was asked about the importance of building skills and maintaining staff to research and development. 
He said that the expansion of cybersecurity verticals offers ample opportunities for tech professionals to upskill, reskill, and enter this sector. 
He asserted that there is a need to address the skill gaps in cybersecurity to “ensure enough skilled professionals meet the growing demand”. 
“To overcome this challenge, boosting resource availability and fostering cybersecurity talent development through industry-wide initiatives and strategies is crucial,” he said. 

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Srishti Singh Sisodia
Srishti Singh Sisodia is a digital journalist at WION and majorly writes on world politics. She is a die-hard FCBarcelona fan. She follows world sports and likes to write about football, cricket and tennis. She also covers health-related stories extensively to inform common people about diseases, and their impacts. 
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