Multiple cities in India and even in the West are vulnerable to advanced cyber-attacks- ranging from phishing to crypto mining to ransomware. By using the network and server-side vulnerabilities, threat actors are triggering attacks. The extension of the network to the edge has become a juicy target for hackers, particularly in smaller cities who may not have the capabilities of managing the increasingly-complex network of devices.
In India, while the economic boom has enhanced fast track development across India with smaller cities becoming popular growth destinations, cybersecurity awareness among Indian companies. This situation has led Tier-II cities becoming a ‘sweet spot’ for cybercriminals, find cybersecurity analysts.
“India became the most targeted country in the world during the second quarter of 2019. Throughout the year, India was in the top five, especially after March 2019. Throughout the year, the country attracted attacks of relatively high quality as compared to other regions and last year. Critical infrastructure was attacked the most, followed by sectors such as banking, defence and manufacturing. This is indeed a worrying trend,” Kiran Zachariah, Vice President – IoT Solutions at Subex told Analytics India Magazine.
According to researchers, the issue lies in the lagging IT infrastructure across smaller towns. Moreover, companies and government offices in Tier II may be using outdated software and not keeping up with security patches for vulnerabilities as actively as Tier-I cities. Nevertheless, smaller cities are still juicy targets, given they are still connected to the web and involve assets at a similar scale.
Will IoT & Smart Cities Further Make It Complicated To Protect Networks Against Ransomware?
The issue of rising attacks across global cities may be further triggered as more devices get connected on computer networks and are prone to ransomware and other cyberattacks. It is estimated that overall IoT spending across the globe will reach $745 billion in 2019 and pass the $1 trillion mark by 2022. According to Nasscom, the Indian Internet of Things (IoT) market is predicted to reach $15 billion by 2020, which will be 5% of the worldwide market. Still, IoT standardisation has not yet been fully implemented in the country.
We have witnessed episodes like attackers shutting down IoT networks or the Mirai botnet incident which cut down a great part of the web on the US east coast; and targeted attacks against enterprise infrastructure, including electrical grids, dams and even nuclear offices have come to light in the past. As a result, the challenge that stands against all government and private organisations, particularly in smaller cities, to develop robust cybersecurity frameworks, formulate security standards and practices throughout all geographies.
“The newly expanded attack surface now includes cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), personal devices, and even operational technology like industrial controls. This has given rise to a massive barrage of thousands of vulnerabilities that are overwhelming security teams. Yet, in the face of this challenge, many organisations in India are still relying on legacy tools and processes that are inadequate to navigate the complex threats in today’s dynamic and modern computing environment,” Adam Palmer, Chief Cybersecurity Strategist at Tenable told Analytics India Magazine.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.