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4 Lakh Complaints recorded on NCB Portal; 50% related to Financial Frauds: MHA

The Ministry of Home Affairs’ National Cybercrime Reporting Portal -- www.cybercrime.gov.in -- has recorded over four lakh complaints, with about 50% related to financial frauds, said Shri Ashok Kumar, Director, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, at– Pursuit 2021, an event on cybersecurity organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India.

“The portal (which was launched on 30th August, 2019) gives us MIS kind of a report and gives us a perspective on what kind of complaints/ frauds are trending. What are the upcoming frauds and how we can work on policies and take up certain matters with the concerned authorities…The recently developed module -- Citizen Financial Cyber Fraud Reporting and Management System, on the portal has helped us save INR 5 crore within two to three months,” he said.

Under the new module, released with the helpline number 155260, once a complaint is filed with the police, they note down certain parameters of the complaint and once input into the system, it alerts the banks on any suspicious transaction, saving the targeted amount.

The Covid-19 pandemic and rising digitisation has led to a surge in cybercrimes. Mentioning that the “cyberwar has started”, Dr Gulshan Rai, India’s first Cybersecurity Coordinator, & Distinguished Fellow, ORF, cautioned the industry about the rise in targeted attacks, which has impacted the industry of late.

“In India, almost every sector has been breached because they all are inter-connected. During the pandemic, the number of breaches increased by 2,000 percent because we were using ASL or DSL from home. ASL, DSL, fibre, nothing is secured, this whole scenario reflects that your sensitive information is at risk and is being used for a variety of purposes, causing financial fraud, causing a threat to national security,” Dr Rai said.

He also highlighted that although 90 percent of attacks are traditional attacks, which include phishing, malware, etc, however, the key concern is the rise in the number of targeted attacks (which accounts for 9 percent currently). Solar winds, Wannacry, are some examples of targeted attacks which are detrimental for any organization and nation.

Speaking at the summit on the topic ‘Financial Services Digital Innovation - Data Protection Imperatives’, Rama Vedashree, CEO, Data Security Council of India, said: “India is definitely leading the playbook for technology-led financial inclusion. The way technology has accelerated financial inclusion we are truly becoming the playbook for the world. Particularly, in the financial services sector, several competitors are collaborating together and there's a strong sense of cooperation rather than competition…In this collaboration, we need to make sure that there’s no breach at any point.”

The two-day virtual event, which concluded today, deliberated upon various aspects of cybercrimes in the financial sector and how technology can play a role in mitigating such attacks.  Sanjay Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Kerala Police, said: “The financial sector is always lucrative for the cyber perpetrators. So, we need to guard our houses through proper detection processes.  With more robust mechanisms, better check and balances, e-KYC, artificial intelligence, we can keep such threats at bay. In fact, we have to harness the power of the machine and human collaboration for mitigating such crimes.”

The event saw the participation of about 4,000 delegates and over 130 speakers from across the globe. The conference provided an opportunity to directly hear from the Regulators, Enforcement Agencies, Industry experts, CXO of Large Financial Institutions, and heads of tech companies, founders of Regtech startups, etc, on their perspective and how they are contributing towards the fight against cybercrimes.

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