Mobile phone users still not aware about malware threats, says Ritesh Chopra of NortonLifeLock

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on July 17, 2021

‘Penetration of paid security suites are only in single digit percentages in India’

Indians are still not aware of the threat perception of mobile phones, specially malwares that have over the years been affecting users, says Ritesh Chopra, Director Sales and Field Marketing, India & SAARC Countries, NortonLifeLock.

Despite the country having the second largest mobile phone user-base globally, penetration of paid security suites are in “single digit percentages”.

NortonLifeLock Inc (NASDAQ:NLOK) is a USA-based software company that is into providing cyber-security software and services.

According to him, smartphone users are yet to be convinced about the need for subscription-based offerings including having additional anti-virus suites or paying for secure VPNs. Users are happy with free offerings that come preloaded on most mobile-phones or downloadable from app-stores.

Users, however, do not realize most mobile phones are more powerful than laptops and can have the same level of specialization as one. So they are equally susceptible to attacks. Moreover, messaging apps make devices prone to click-baits.

“In India, people think mobiles are less vulnerable than laptops. But malware attacks through click baits have actually gone up on phones. For instance, you receive a link, you open it to read and the virus will place itself waiting to be activated,” Chopra told BusinessLine.

Similarly, using secure VPNs are yet to gain popularity in India as many believe home networks are safe.

“But we do not change username and passwords of IDs. What is protected is the bandwidth. But, malware can do more damage by moving between devices and networks,” he added.

Identity Thefts

According to Chopra, identity thefts are common and targeted phishing attacks are up.

NortonLifeLock’s survey reveals at least 72 per cent of respondents are a victim of cyber crime; while 60 per cent of these 72 (or 43 per cent of the total) have been hit by a cyber crime in the last 12 months. And, at least 45 per cent respondents have experienced identity theft.

“In absolute terms, 27 million Indians have experienced identity theft in 2020. Another 120 million have experienced cyber crime, meaning they may not be a victim but either they have been touched, or have a known person or have averted a possible cyber crime incident,” Chopra said.

Price Tweaks

In a bid to grow the market, NortonLifeLock has initiated price tweaks across its offerings by “having a more universal and competitive pricing”.

Apart from device-specific offerings at the consumer end, the company is looking at “all in one” security suite - a one package covering multiple devices – under the ‘Norton 360’ offering.

“Price points are now India-specific with costs being as low as ₹2 per day. We are continuously adding features to the security suites. For instance, there are plans to come up with offerings targeting gamers and optimize their device performances,” Chopra said.

Over the last few years, the company has been updating payment options that include accepting payment in INR, adding payment gateways and enabling debit and credit card payment options.

Published on July 16, 2021

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