Digitization has been one technological aspect that’s been highly celebrated, accepted and acknowledged in our country, India. While this has proven to be of the biggest boons of all times, the threat of Cyber Crimes that tag along cannot be overlooked.
Cyber Crimes in the banking sector especially have witnessed a fourfold in the recent years, notably so after the covid-19 pandemic has hit all our lives.
Every other day we hear stories about how an individual has lost thousands or in some cases lakhs of rupees to cyber crimes.
Although, currently while the industry is spending a huge amount on safeguarding the cybersecurity systems and maintain a robust IT infrastructure, it cannot be said that a shield is present around the system round the clock.
Cybercriminals now do not shy away from hunting new ways of hacking into the systems of banks and looting both, the system and the innocent individuals.
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Why is Banking industry the most targeted one?
Banking industry, you may say is the favourite target for cybersecurity criminals considering the enormous reserve of cash and consumer data.
The main cases which have been identified with cyber crimes are linked to the violent upsurge in cell phones and the sudden boom and availability of internet even in the rural parts . Mobile phones are used for a number of online services like web saving money, paying service charges, web based shopping and is according to the criminals to acquire access to criminal data.
In the cases, where the hackers are not able to get significant data, the destroy the bank’s site as a measure to render against their endeavors.
The information at times is also gathered from different sources like magazines, government reports and others. It is measured in a way that optional information is easily accessible in articles, magazines, journals and beforehand directed analysts on the comparative theme.
The gathered information has helped the digital criminals in differentiating the key parameters for further investigation which in a way has helped in characterizing the destinations of examination.
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Current scenario and repercussions
This new digital workforce has encouraged a large chunk of the banking sectors to go online and also include video conferencing that has led to privacy issues and phishing attempts, including ransomware attacks.
The Banking sectors is largely depended on online banking, both mobile and web services tend to have a weak security system, owing to which we can see a rise in the cyber crimes.
Hacking and Phishing are the most commonly used and practised techniques used by criminals to get their way into the crime.
Hacking as we understand, is an unlawful access to a system or a bank, private organisation, or an entity which is used degenerate or to see any misguidedly information.
While phishing includes a procedure to collect private data like username, password, one time password etc.
These kind of digital assaults, famously coined as cyber crimes are increasing all around the world, with India witnessing a sharp increase in digital contravention cases in the last few years.
Of all the cyber crimes that have been reported till the date, majority of the cases have been recorded under ATM fraud, which are then followed by online banking fraud.
Karnataka and Maharashtra are the two states that record highest number of cyber crime cases.
The repercussions of a data breach on the banking sector is severe and threat to the economy and an individual’s hard-earned money.
This may further lead to the threat of financial losses, regulatory consequences, and reputational damage.
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Steps banks are currently taking
The focus of Indian banks stresses more on identifying and prevent of cyber-attacks than paying attention to breach detection.
Currently more emphasis needs to be put on crisis management in the immediate aftermath of detection and corrective measures.
TBT first ever fraud
A few years ago, this ATM fraud had taken the country by a storm, wherein Chennai police had busted a gang associated with cyber crime and also linked with ATM robbery.
The police nabbed a youngster, Deepak Prem Manwani who was all of 22 years only and was caught breaking into an ATM.
On arrest, he had Rs 7.5 lakh robbed from two ATMs in Chennai. Preceding that, he had left with Rs 50,000 from an ATM in Mumbai.
The criminal was an MBA dropout from a Pune school and was working in a Chennai based firm. His fraudster mind began in a small web cafe and had contacts with like minded people in Europe who’d give him leads to hack American banks for 5 Dollars each.
Eventually, Manwani also learned how to create 30 plastic cards that contained important information to empower him to break ATMs.
Despite the banks and individuals losing crores of rupees every month, the charges in cases of cyber crime in India continue to be abysmally low, even as cybercrime has more than doubled in the last two years, according to the latest home ministry data.
It has been noted that the cops too don’t act swiftly when complaints are registered and it’s a small team that’s investing the matter.
Cybercrimes are covered under Information Technology Act (IT Act) and the Indian Penal Code. The IT Act, 2000, which came into force on October 17, 2000, deals with cybercrime and electronic commerce. The IT Act was later amended in the year 2008.
A cyber criminal can be charged with section 65 and 66. Section 65 for Tampering with Computer Source Documents. Penalties if found guilty can be imprisonment up to 3 years and/or up-to Rs 2 lakh fine. And Section 66 for Hacking with computer systems or unauthorised usage of computer system and network. Punishment if found guilty can be imprisonment up to three years and/or a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.
Apart from the above mentioned laws, there are several other sections under IT Act and IPC, which have provisions for cybercrimes.
Even with cyber laws in place, the rate of cybercrime is increasing drastically. India reported a rise of 11.8% in cybercrime in the year 2021, during which around 50,000 cases were reported.