Technological advancement has not only given us power to manage everything with a click of a button, but it has also made us vulnerable to many threats online.The unexpected onset of the pandemic and the shift of workspace have led to a rapid increase in cyber-attacks globally.In 2020, there was a huge increase in both criminal attacks and ransom attacks around the world. According to Check Point research, the number of ransomware assaults worldwide increased by 102% in 2021. In addition, the numbers showed that India is the most afflicted country, with an increase of 17% in the number of weekly ransomware assaults per organisation during the first half of the year. Only recently, 4.5 million customers around the world were affected by a breach in Air India’s data servers.
The increasing activity in 2021 included reports of high-profile ransomware assaults on essential infrastructure, private businesses, and municipalities. This year demands for ransom have risen to tens of millions of dollars around the globe. A more advanced approach is using threat actors to steal essential firm data and hold it for ransom.
A recent attack on Colonial Pipeline, a major US gasoline corporation, led to losses for businesses globally in 2020 of over $20 billion, roughly 75% more than the total in 2019. The Colonial Pipeline, which spans for more than 5,500 miles, was forced to shut down all its fuel distribution network — and consequently jeopardised the transportation of gasoline and jet fuel over the U.S. east coastline due to a ransomware attack. The pipeline moves around 100 million gallons of fuel daily. The pipeline is spread across 14 states and serves the transportation needs of seven airports.
In light of this recent attack on the colonial pipeline, many countries have come forward to strengthen their network security.Cybersecurity Ventures anticipates that over the five years, 2017 to 2021, worldwide spending on cybersecurity products and services would collectively exceed $1 trillion. Let’s look at some of the top cybersecurity budgets around the world.
The U.S. government is expected to allocate $18.78 billion for cyber security investment in 2021, according to an Atlas VPN inquiry. Recently, President Joe Biden had proposed a $2.1 billion allocation for the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA), $110 million more than the authorised level in 2021.
Israeli cybersecurity broke another record in the first three months of 2021, with a $1.5 billion capital influx.In contrast to other sectors that have suffered economic setbacks, Israel’s cybersecurity business has continued to surge, breaking a new record every other year. In the first year of operation in 2019, the investment firms set a record by raising $1.8 billion in capital.
In its national budget for the cyber-space program for its two-government-controlled institutions, the Tehran administration has updated $ 71.4 million in its budget. As reported by IRNA, Iran’s official news agency, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Agency (IRIB) “cyberspace activists” program received $63 million and another $ 8.4 million for its ‘cyberspace section’ of the Islamic Development Organization.
The Canadian government has planned to spend $80 million on a new federal cybersecurity network. The new pan-Canadian cybersecurity programme is planned to be supported by $80 million CAD (Canadian dollars) in financing over the next four years.
In 2021 CyberSecurity Malaysia (CSM) was allocated a budget of RM27 million to help boost Malaysia’s cybersecurity. The grant of RM27 million to CSM would help Malaysia meet its digital transformation readiness. Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, launched the MCSS 2020-2024, with a budget of RM1.8 billion.
As part of its 2021-2022 Budget, the Federal government has given Australia a new range of investment in digital services and technology. The Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has key components of this, while the total budget of the agency has been decreased from $425,5 million for this fiscal year to $336 million this year.The Digital Technology Taskforce is set to extend by 30 June 2022 by $3.2 million in 2021-22.
In 2021, following recent hospital breaches, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a plan to invest €1 billion ($1.2 billion) to strengthen cybersecurity in France, with €350 million (approx. $400 million USD) set aside for hospitals.
The recent £16.5 billion increase by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in British military spending includes an interesting caveat for the cyber security community. A sizable proportion of the investment will be dedicated to securing and enhancing the country’s cybersecurity and offensive capabilities.To help UK fight cyber criminals on a large scale, the National Cyber Force will be created with an investment of 1.5 billion pounds. Hiscox reports that, globally, the average cybersecurity budget is $1.46 million , while in the UK, it is around $900,000.
As of January 2021, the government revealed its National Digital Skills Plan in Plan Nacional de Competencias Digitales in Spanish. It included joint investments across the aforementioned frameworks for the digitization of SMEs and public authorities in 2021-2025. As a result of these critical digital and cyber skills gaps in Spain, this new strategy is an answer to them. The EU’s €4.66 billion Digitalisation of SMEs Plan for 2021-2025 will make a direct impact through a €4.46 billion digitalisation subsidy for business.
Whereas, the Government of India, in spite of having one of the largest digital ecosystems, the cyber-security budgets are still paltry. That said, the Indian government has increased the expenditure for the Indian digital programme by 23 percent to Rs 3958 crore for the year 2020-21.The funds allocated for cyber security projects and promotion of the IT and ITeS industries has seen and increase from Rs 102 crore and Rs 90 crore to Rs 170 crore.This increase was mainly due to incentives for electronic production, research and development, cyber security, and the promotion of IT and IT services. The switch to remote work has brought about a significant change in the cyberspace domain, the increase in online presence has compelled cybersecurity around the world to adopt certain measures to ensure the safety of their digital assets. India is progressing quickly into digital adaptation and innovation as a result of the Digital India Initiative. Although India’s cybersecurity budget is still inadequate, according to market analysts, India’s cybersecurity services industry is projected to grow from $4.3 billion in 2020 to $7.6 billion in 2022. According to the Data Security Council of India, the size of the industry is expected to be $13.6 billion by 2025, with a growth rate of 21%. In 2014, the NCCC’s separate budget of one billion rupees was allotted to increase the country’s cybersecurity. This proposal is geared toward helping the cybersecurity ecosystem in India grow stronger. The MeitY has launched the Cyber Surakshit Bharat initiative which was in conjunction with the National e-Governance Division (NeGD). Even though India faces a critical cybersecurity risk with a dire need to improve the cybersecurity defences, it is taking small steps in improving the overall cybersecurity infrastructure.
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Ritika Sagar is currently pursuing PDG in Journalism from St. Xavier's, Mumbai. She is a journalist in the making who spends her time playing video games and analyzing the developments in the tech world.