Cyber Crime Hits Indian SMBs In Small Towns

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 08, 2014

cyber threat

While cyber crime may appear as an urban phenomenon, causing massive losses to large business organizations, a recent data shows a majority of hacking and other cyber offenses are happening in small towns and rural areas in India. While this is also an indication that internet penetration in the country is increasing, on the flip side, businesses in these regions who are not equipped to deal with these complex threats are suffering a huge setback.

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data for 2013, the year saw a jump of 122.5% in cyber offences over 2012. But most interestingly, hacking formed close to 60% of all cyber offences (under IT Act) in India followed close to 60% of all cyber offences (under IT Act) in India followed closely by obscene or derogatory posts (28%).

The latest data on cyber offences released by NCRB show that a total of 5,693 offences were registered across the country in 2013 notching a rise of 122.5% over 2012. Of these, 45% of all hacking cases were reported from the 88 cities covered. Of the 2516 cases of hacking, 1382 were reported from small towns and rural areas. The rest of the cases of hacking, derogatory or obscene posts and other cyber offenses are reported to have come from smaller towns.

The study notes that sexual harassment and economic fraud have turned out to be prime motives behind over 40% of all cyber offences. While, most hacking cases are reported from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, most obscenity cases are reported from Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh.

The Indian hinterland is dotted with small business users who are increasingly using the internet to store and use data. A Ponemon Institute report noted that data breaches are a major online threat to small business owners and customers, with 55 percent of SMB respondents having a data breach, almost all involving electronic records, and 53 percent had multiple breaches. The primary causes of these breaches were employee or contractor mistakes, lost or stolen devices and procedural mistakes.

Ransomware has also recently become a bigger challenge for small businesses. Ransomware locks your computer and demands a release fee, in effect, holding the computer ransom. The malware is often quite sophisticated and difficult to remove. Besides, social networking sites also present risks to businesses located in these regions, where oversharing of information leads to serious threat to online banking inormation.

“An SMB is likely to have fewer security resources with which to protect its networks and systems than a large enterprise, meaning more chance of an attack succeeding and less chance of criminals being detected, identified, and prosecuted,” says by Sanjay Deshpande, Chief Innovation Officer, Uniken. He adds that enterprises need to ensure they re-evaluate their security infrastructure and strategy periodically and ensure up-to-date software deployments. 

According to a GFI Software repot, considering the pace of growth of smart connected devices, across Indian geographies, it becomes imperative for small business decision makers to embrace the right solutions and set the right policies in place.