Urging citizens to be vigilant when online, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval said financial frauds have surged drastically during COVID-19 pandemic due to greater dependence on digital payment platforms. He added the Centre was coming up with the National Cyber Security Strategy-2020, which proposes a safe, secure, trustworthy, reliant and vibrant cyberspace for India's prosperity.
"There is a greater dependence on digital payment platforms due to reduced cash handling and greater data sharing is happening online and presence on social media has also increased. While we are able to manage our affairs online to a certain extent, malicious actors also found in it a new opportunity," Ajit Doval said.
Doval was delivering a virtual lecture at the COCONXIII, a hacking and data privacy conference hosted by the Kerala Police and Society for Policing of Cyberspace and Information Security Research Association. According to the NSA, the work environment has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said there was a 500% uptick in cyber crimes due to limited awareness and cyber hygiene.
"Financial frauds have seen exponential increase due to greater dependence on digital payment platforms. The adversaries are tempted to exploit the crisis situation due to various misinformation, fake news, etc. The huge cyber data floating in the cyber space is a gold mine for extracting information that can undermine the privacy of our citizens," Doval said.
The NSA applauded the state government and the Kerala police for taking such initiatives. With increased reliance on the internet becoming a daily feature of people's lives due to COVID-19 crisis, citizens need to be more careful online, Kerala governor Arif Mohammed Khan said, while inaugurating the online conference.