Indian organisations were hit hard by ransomware attacks in 2020. Globally, India Inc stood second when it came to ransom pay-outs and more than a third paid between $1 Mn — $2.5 Mn to hackers for such cyberattacks. These numbers were revealed by the US cyber tech firm CrowdStrike after a global survey.
The 2020 Global Cyber Security Attitude Survey also found that India Inc is particularly threatened by cyber attacks originating from China and Pakistan due to rising geopolitical tensions.
While 74% organisations in India suffered a ransomware attack, the numbers were 67% in Australia, 52% in Japan and 46% in Singapore in the APCA region.
The survey revealed that more than one-third (34%) Indian organisations paid between $1 Mn – $2.5 Mn to the hackers to get back their data and system access in the last 12 months – second to only Singapore (69%). 19% organisations in the US and 10% in the UK paid between $1 Mn – 2.5 Mn.
Over half (51%) of Indian companies said that nation-state attacks will be the biggest concern for 2021.
77% of cybersecurity experts across the Asia Pacific region are more concerned about ransomware attacks due to the pandemic, and respondents in India are the most worried lot in the region at 83%.
“Over the last 12 months there has been a significant surge in attacks experienced by Indian organisations, and now the attitude has shifted from ‘if there will be an attack’ to ‘when’ an organisation will suffer from an attack,” Michael Sentonas, CTO, CrowdStrike told TOI.
Most IT security executives surveyed in the study admitted that their companies have been focusing more on perimeter security rather than threat hunting, and increased use of personal devices by end-users in remote work scenarios has made it more difficult to safeguard themselves from potential attacks.
Recently, National Cyber Security Coordinator Lt Gen (Dr) Rajesh Pant had said that cybercrimes in India caused INR 1.25 Lakh Cr loss in 2019 and cyber threats will continue to increase as the country focuses on developing smart cities and rolling out 5G network.
Last month, Indian sweets and snacks brand Haldiram’s witnessed a ransomware attack on its servers by unidentified hackers who have allegedly stolen crucial data and demanded a ransom of $7,50,000.
The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has “reported 49,455, 50,362, 53,117, 208,456, 394,499 and 696,938 cybersecurity incidents during the year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (till August) respectively,” the MeITY said while responding to an unstarred question in the Lok Sabha regarding cyberattacks on Indian citizens and India-based commercial and legal entities.