Mobile frauds are areas of great concern for companies as 40–45 percent of financial transactions are done via mobile devices, and this threat is expected to grow to 60–65 percent by 2017. Credit and debit card fraud cases top the chart of cybercrimes.

As the nation embarks to connect over 1.2 billion people and leapfrog into next-generation infrastructure including smart cities, millions of people, devices, and machines are getting hyper-connected across India every day. Enormous amount of real-time information is moving across the ever-expanding network at increasing speeds. From critical communications network to power distribution to financial well-being of the nation depends on the robustness of the cyber network. Each day, there are growing reports of spread of malware, misinformation, and systemic cyber-attacks. These malicious forces know no physical boundaries. This is a huge challenge and needs unprecedented collective action. Indeed, it is now a paramount national priority.

Enforcing data security measures and creating proactive security-monitoring capability are vital for an organization to maintain a lead over emerging threats and protect their financial, intellectual, and customer-related information. While India is in the process of defining key initiatives with regard to cybersecurity, many mature countries have already implemented various key initiatives aimed at the improvement of critical infrastructure for cybersecurity and addressing cybercrime.

USA and the UK have reached an advanced stage as far as the implementation of their cybersecurity strategy is concerned. Australia has formulated a national plan to combat cybercrime with a vision of safe and secure digital environment for all Australians. Canada's cybersecurity strategy is focused on a plan for meeting cyber threat and help Canadians to be secure online. A dedicated national governing unit may be established in India, which will be the central agency for all state government cybercrime agencies to coordinate, integrate, and share information related to cybercrime. Such a central agency will be responsible for driving all the cybercrime-prevention initiatives, such as collaboration with private sectors and training and awareness across the country. The government plans to provide well-defined citizen-awareness programs aimed at preventing cybercrime as a proactive mitigation. Cybercrime awareness shall be introduced in academics in the early stages of education as a mandate for all the state and central, and public and private schools. Mechanisms shall be established for independent monitoring of awareness programs at regular intervals to evaluate the number of people/regions covered.

A centralized database of cybercriminals should be maintained so that the criminals released from jails may be monitored. Such checks will discourage cybercriminals from engaging in spurious activities in cyberspace.

It will be beneficial to have collaborations with international cyber security protection alliances, such as the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), National Crime Agency's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), and UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP). This will help in not only adopting the best practices by other countries for prevention of cybercrime, but also in increasing the capability, knowledge, training, skills, capacity, and expertise of cybersecurity task forces. Additionally, it will help to reduce the harm caused to businesses, customers, and citizens due to international cyber attacks.

There is a need to increase the number of cybercrime cells and laboratories in the states and provide requisite manpower, training, and infrastructure to them. Initiatives to set up cybercrime cells and laboratories in states where these do not exist, and also upgrading and strengthenening the existing cybercrime cells, is required to cope with rapid cybercrimes. There is a need to establish a centralized repository for cybersecurity standards, best practices, and guidelines, which can be used by law enforcement agencies for preventing and investigating cybercrime.

India should be actively engaged as part of the international cybercrime associations centered on Asia/Europe and America to seek help and contribute toward international cybercrime issues. According to a study, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra occupy the top three positions when it comes to cybercrimes registered under the new IT Act in India. ASSOCHAM-EY


 

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