Explained: Here’s why COVID-19 pandemic accelerates more cyberattacks in India


Cyber attacks in India are getting deadlier year after year. Each strike has taken proportions to drive home the fact that no one is safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to come up with work from home which has made things more vulnerable and lack of good infrastructure adds more woes to make it worse.

The recent cyberattacks on big firms like Domino’s India, Air India, and others show a clear example that we are heading towards a big crisis. Domino’s India became a victim of a major data leak as more than 18 crore orders’ data has been put up on the dark web for sale as a searchable database. On May 21, the data of more than 45 lakh users of global airlines including Air India were compromised. This includes personal data such as credit card details and passport information. Other companies like MobiKwik, Airtel, etc were also affected.

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Last year, even companies like Haldiram, WhiteHatJr, and others were not spared from such attacks. Haldiram’s was hit by a ransomware attack that demanded $7,50,000 (approx. Rs. 5,47,00,000). Even the IT Ministry reported that nearly 7 lakh cybersecurity incidents happened till August 2020. 

Picture this, most Indian companies (81 percent) in a survey acknowledged to have faced data breach in the past year, with zero-day vulnerabilities and security loopholes in web applications being common reasons across several organisations, cybersecurity firm Barracuda Networks said.

India has been at the receiving end of such dastardly attacks because of a lack of investment in IT infrastructure. The definition of work environment gradually changed after the COVID-19 pandemic created ruckus in the country. Some perhaps didn’t think of scaling up their cloud infrastructure and IT security as they didn’t even think that these kinds of cyberattacks will increase in these times.

A lot of reports suggested that cyber-attacks surged by nearly 80 percent since 2020 and what’s more shocking is that India stands at second position among the most affected countries after the US. Around $20 billion (approx. Rs 14,59,00,00,00) has been paid out globally in 2020.

It is therefore very important to strengthen our IT infrastructure and work on scaling up the security to protect companies’ data from getting hacked. On one hand, India is aiming to increase internet connectivity so that it reaches even the remotest parts of the country, while on the other hand, it is struggling with phishing attacks, cyber-attacks and major companies’ data are getting leaked which in a way harms India’s reputation. 

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