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India is the second-biggest target of cyber criminals in Asia-Pacific in 2020: IBM

India was the second-most attacked country by cyber criminals after Japan in Asia-Pacific in 2020, according to an IBM report released on Wednesday.

In 2020, IBM Security X-Force observed attackers pivoting their attacks to businesses for which the global COVID-19 response efforts heavily relied on, such as hospitals, medical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as energy companies powering the COVID-19 supply chain.

“India was the second-most attacked country in the Asia-Pacific. Attacks on India made up 7 percent of all attacks X-Force observed on Asia in 2020.

“Finance and insurance was the top attacked industry in India (60 percent), followed by manufacturing and professional services,” the report said.

Ransomware was the top attack type, accounting for around 40 percent of total cyber attacks.

In addition, X-Force observed digital currency mining and server access attacks had hit Indian companies last year.

cyber criminals

“We also witnessed cybercriminals using relief efforts and public health information as spam lures, including targeted attacks on critical components of the vaccine supply chain. These all remain issues in 2021,” Sudeep Das, Security Software Technical Sales Leader, IBM Technology Sales, India/South Asia, said in a statement.

Earlier in October 2020, National Cyber Security Coordinator Lt Gen (Dr) Rajesh Pant said cyber crimes in India caused Rs 1.25 lakh crore loss in 2019 and cyber threats will continue to increase as the country starts developing smart cities and rolls out the 5G network, among other initiatives

He said that there are only a few Indian companies which are making some of the cyber security products and there is a big vacuum in the sector.

Further, Pant called for setting up a dedicated industry forum for cyber security to develop trusted indigenous solutions to check cyber attacks.

“Last year, our official figures were Rs 1.25 lakh crore lost due to cyber crimes in India. Ransomware attacks are increasing everyday and these criminals have been working from home. They have no qualms. They are heartless people. They are attacking hospitals because they know that in an emergency, hospitals will pay,” Pant said at an event organised by industry body FICCI.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

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