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28 Apr 2017

India occupies 4th position in online security breaches: Symantec study

The recent push for digitization in India has been made amidst concerns on right to privacy violations and the vulnerability of India's cyber-infrastructure.

According to a study conducted by Symantec, India ranked fourth in online security breaches, accounts for 5% of threats detected globally.

The study further ranked US, China and Brazil, first, second and third respectively.

Let us see what the study revealed!

In context

Cyber threats loom large over India: Symantec study

What is a cyber threat?

Cyber threat flows from the adversary's capability to inflict damage on the referent actor's (state or individual) cyber infrastructure or exploit their vulnerabilities. Intending to hit company or country reputation, the attackers use means like e-mail and malware to compromise systems.

Why is this a concern?


Why is this a concern?

Information and communication technology today governs crucial aspects from individual to national security, including issues like finance and economics to critical matters like controlling power grids.

Moreover, increased digitization has linked personal data to the online domain, rendering it vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Increased incidence of attacks point to increased vulnerability to cyber threats enabling adversaries to severely cripple day-to-day functioning of nation states.

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What did the study reveal?

The Study confirmed North Korea's efforts to hack banks in Bangladesh, Ecuador and Vietnam, stealing close to $94 million. Tarun Kaura, Director, Symantec notes, this was "the first time we observed strong indications of state involvement in financial cyber crime".

The Study further revealed, about 7 billion identities got stolen in the last 8 years, with 1.1 billion stolen in 2016 alone.

Data breaches in 2016


Data breaches in 2016

As per the study, e-mail became a preferred channel of attack in 2016, with 1 out of 131 e-mails containing malicious elements.

Businesses lost around $ 3 billion in the last three years through Business e-mail compromise (BEC) scams which work through spear phishing e-mails.

Revelation on the Yahoo data breaches, together compromising more than a billion user accounts in 2013-2014 further grabbed attention.

On tackling newer threats

The Study further highlighted prevalence of threats including virtual bank robberies and data loss from cloud. Further while China halved its breaches from 24% to 10% in 2015-16, India saw an increase from 3.4% to 5.1% during the same time period.

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