Cyber frauds to see an uptick in India in 2021: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on November 24, 2020

Checking fraud Getting tougher

As India’s digital economy continues to grow, cyber frauds are likely to continue well into 2021, according to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky.

Kaspersky has recently released its cybersecurity predictions for India in 2021 as part of its Kaspersky Security Bulletin (KSB) based on insights from its Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT).

One of the key points highlighted in the report is an increase in cyber frauds owing to increased digital payments.

“This year we have seen many UPI related frauds and several banks have issued advisories alerting their users about the same. As more options for digital payments are introduced, we can see more similar cases in the future,” said Kaspersky.

“With more users connected to the internet, the incidents related to frauds may see an uptick,” it added.

Cyberthreats for businesses in India

In terms of cybersecurity for businesses, Kaspersky advisees strengthening of security infrastructure as more small and medium businesses go digital. MSMEs must be vigilant in terms of their overall security setup.

“We have seen incidents in the past where the network breach was the result of exploiting a vulnerable internet-facing service. Apart from securing their infrastructure, they have to take essential steps to protect their customer’s personal information. Any loopholes in the setups may provide attackers with an opportunity to go after MSMEs,” Kaspersky said.

Rise of ransomware

The healthcare sector, in particular, faces major risks with cyberattacks on prominent companies being recorded this year. Citing the examples of cyberattacks on Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and drugmaker Lupin reported earlier this year, Kaspersky said that similar incidents in the healthcare sector are expected to see a rise during 2021.

Dr Reddy’s had further confirmed that the attack was a ransomware attack. According to Kaspersky, ransomware attacks are also going to see a rise in various sectors apart from healthcare in India and abroad.

Ransomware actors like Maze, Cl0p, Nefilmi and Netwalker have been targeting different industries in India such as Financial Services, Oil drilling services, Pharmaceutical, Commodity and services providers, Automotive supplies, Footwear manufacturer, Professional & Consumer Services and Manufacturing & Industrials. We expect this tendency to be continued in 2021, Kaspersky said.

Global threats

The report also focused on trends and predictions related to global Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) in 2020 and 2021.

Globally, ransomware attacks will increase with attackers leveraging old and new techniques.

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) actors will also leverage similar methods as ransomware attackers to target networks. This remains a major global threat.

“One of the key, and potentially most dangerous, trends that Kaspersky researchers anticipate is the change in threat actors’ approach to the execution of attacks,” Kaspersky said.

“Last year targeted ransomware attacks reached a new level through the use of generic malware as a means to get an initial foothold in targeted networks. Kaspersky researchers believe that APT actors will start using the same method to compromise their targets,” it said.

In 2020, APT actors have primarily targeted governments, banks, financial institutions, among others. India was one of the top 12 targets of APT actors. More countries are thus using legal indictments as part of their cyber-strategy.

“The amount and complexity of changes we have witnessed that have affected the cyberthreat environment could dictate many scenarios for what is to come ahead,” said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky.

“Our previous experience shows that we have been able to anticipate many APT developments before, and hence prepare for them better. We will continue to follow this path, understanding the tactics and methods behind APT campaigns and activities, sharing the insights we learn and evaluating the impact,” Emm said.

Published on November 24, 2020

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