Cyber crime rate to go higher next year
Cyber crime rate to go higher next year: Side effects of demonetisation?Reuters

While everyone in India is feeling the cash crunch due to the withdrawal limits in banks and ATMs, people are resorting to digital transactions to keep their daily transactions running. The primary goal of the demonetisation is to curb black money and encourage 1.2 billion people of the second most populated country in the world to go online.

Mobile wallets such as Paytm have witnessed an enormous spike in terms of usage, which is placing the demonetisation plan on the right track, but is it actually that simple? There is a dark side to the significant rise in online transactions, a research jointly conducted by ASSOCHAM and EY pointed out.

According to the research titled Strategic National Measures to Combat Cybercrime, mobile frauds are expected to grow up to 65 percent in India by 2017. Credit and debit card fraud cases have topped the charts of cybercrimes and increased six times in just last three years.

"According to the data, about 46 per cent complaints of online banking are related to/credit/debit card fraud, followed by Facebook-related complaints (39 percent -- mostly morphed pictures/cyber stalking/cyber bullying)," the study said, adding that cheating through mobile (21 percent), hacking e-mails (18 percent), abusive/offensive/obscene calls and SMS (12 percent) and others, followed the lead.

The study noted that enforcing strong data security measures and building a critical infrastructure for cybersecurity and means to address cybercrime are essential to overcome emerging threats. In other countries such as the United States, the UK, Australia and Canada, there are advanced measures in place for online consumer safety.

The Narendra Modi government must provide awareness programmes to prevent cybercrimes and mandate cybercrime awareness in academics as a way to deal with any future threats. Even a centralised cybercriminal database will help authorities to keep tabs on criminals released from jails and increase the number of cells and labs focusing on cybercrime defences.

At the rate at which the cybercrimes are rising, stern measures to protect the consumers from online frauds is essential. Every other day we hear about a breach in the servers of companies, leading to the exposure of sensitive credentials of millions of users. India needs to be a step ahead on the cybersecurity front if it truly aims at becoming a digital-first country.