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Cyber crimes on rise with growing digitisation

In today’s digitally connected world, massive amounts of data are generated by various entities. This data are of significant value and need to be protected from cyber threats.

Cyber crimes are criminal activities that involve a computer and or a computer network and compromise security or privacy of an individual or an organisation.

Cyber crimes have been on the rise across the globe, including India.

In India, around 49,000 cyber crimes were reported in 2015. The first big spike was in 2018 when it surpassed the 2-lakh mark. The number of cyber crimes has grown 28 times and crossed 14-lakh mark in 2021.

Among States, Telangana reported the highest number of cyber crimes (over 10 thousand) in 2021, followed by Uttar Pradesh with over 8 thousand cyber attacks. Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam were also among the most affected States.

Among cities, Bengaluru reported the bulk of cyber crimes. Hyderabad and Mumbai too witnessed a high incidence of cyber crimes.

Cyber attackers can steal large amounts of data and fixing a data breach is very expensive depending on the scale of the breach. A data breach is a security violation where confidential or sensitive data is stolen or viewed without authorisation.

The average cost incurred due to a data breach in the US is the highest globally at $9.44 million, while Canada is second with $5.6 million and India ranks third with $2.32 million.

Among industries, healthcare data breaches are the most expensive. Financial, pharmaceuticals and technology are among the top industries that spend the most to fix data breaches.

The biggest data breach was Cam4’s data breach in 2020, with more than 10.8 billion compromised data records. In 2017, Yahoo’s data breach was the second biggest with more than 3 billion compromised data records.

India’s unique identification Aadhaar was also hit by a huge data breach in 2018 with more than 1.1 billion compromised data records. Some of the other big data breaches were in 2019 which targeted First American Financial Corporation and verifications.io.

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