Monday, May 13, 2013

Cyber threats to organizations are on the rise: PwC India

INDIA: PwC India unveiled an assessment of the changing nature of cyber threats to organisations in India. The study, Invading privacy: Cyber crimes on the rise states that organisations in India are facing increasing cyber threats resulting in growing number of incidences being detected and reported. Shockingly, 60 percent of all cyber crimes are perpetrated by internal staff, the study states.

Cyber crime ranks as one of the top four economic crimes perceived by Indian organisations and this study provides an analysis of trends such as hacking and website defacement, corporate espionage, phishing and skimming, emergence of BYOD (Bring your own device) and the growth of cloud computing.

Emphasising the impact of these trends, Sivarama Krishnan, executive director, PwC India, said: “Organisations need to understand that the dynamics of cyber threats have transformed. Today they stand to threaten the very existence of businesses. It is imperative that organisations devise integrated strategies and aligned tactics that meet this evolving landscape of threats.”

Some of the significant insights highlighted by the report include:

The growing trend of hacktivism in the country, which involves hacking and website defacement by fraudsters motivated by political causes, is becoming an increasing concern for government and private organisations alike.

With Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks hackers are able to access an organisation’s sensitive data. There has been a 282 percent rise in the number of website defacements as a result of such attacks from 2009 to 2012.

* The threat landscape resulting from corporate espionage has evolved, gone digital and is certainly more dangerous. Over 70 percent of top employees of organisations have become victims of corporate espionage through the cyber route.

* With the emergence of online and mobile banking, the financial services sector has become increasingly vulnerable to cyber crimes, particularly phishing and skimming. India is amongst the top five target countries for phishing attacks. In 2012 alone there was an increase of 187 percent in the number of phishing attacks related to various Indian banks.

* 54 percent of Indian organisations have embraced BYOD but a very insignificant percentage has strategies and policies to guide the BYOD model. Similarly, while adoption of cloud computing is maturing in the country only 31 percent have strategies for information security for the same.

Undoubtedly, cyber security of digital information has become one of the significant concerns for organisations and protection of information assets has become top priority for business leaders in corporate India. Today, more and more organisations in all sectors are seizing the opportunities created by the internet.

However, organisations that incorporate cyber awareness and responsiveness in every employee, every decision and every interaction and are aware of the current and emerging cyber environment will be the ones to gain competitive advantage in today’s technology-driven environment.

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