India’s heavy digital footprint makes it more attractive to cybercrooks: experts–DGU

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AI (Artificial Intelligence) concept. Communication network. AI

AI (Artificial Intelligence) concept. Communication network. AI
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With a population of over 1.4 billion and a rapidly expanding economy, India’s digital footprint has made it an alluring target for cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities, warned a group of cyber-security providers.

Data breaches would skyrocket in 2024, there would be continued acceleration in ransomware activities in addition to a surge in identity-based attacks resulting from increasing cloud adoption, and deepfakes would also pose a looming threat to the country’s cybersecurity this year, they cautioned.

Rohan Vaidya, regional director, India and SAARC, CyberArk said, “In 2024, we expect a sharp uptick in data breaches as the digital landscape expands, primarily because of the scale and diversity of attacks, which have impacted almost every sector, from government to healthcare to startups.”

As organisations migrate their data, applications, and workloads to the cloud, the attack surface widens, providing a broader canvas for threat actors to exploit. Organisations may also have less visibility and control over cloud resources than in on-premises environments and this could make it difficult to detect intrusions and and prevent unauthorised access, according to CyberArk, a player in identity management software.

The country’s public cloud services market is expected to gallop to $17.8 billion by 2027, exhibiting a formidable CAGR of 23.4% for the period spanning 2022-2027 (IDC).

McAfee Corp., a player in online protection, forecast that in 2024 the global excitement around the Olympic Games will become a breeding ground for scams. Cyber-scammers will exploit consumer enthusiasm around the event, targeting fans who are eager to buy tickets, book travel, access hot content, and participate in giveaways.

Cybercrooks excel at understanding the moments that matter most to people–from hot movie premieres, to high-profile events, to key shopping seasons, they adapt their scam playbook to capitalise on the biggest moments in the zeitgeist. This would present a golden opportunity to trick people into compromising their personal information and payment details, alerted McAfee.

In this year, AI would help cybercriminals manipulate social media and shape public opinion like never before. Bad actors would deploy AI tools to fabricate photos, videos, and audios and lodge on social media.

“As AI continues to lower the barrier to cybercrime and ushers in a new era of AI-powered cyberthreats, scams will become more sophisticated and more difficult to distinguish from legitimate messages and sites. Even experts will have trouble telling fact from fiction to deepfakes that could impact everything including the future of our children, and beyond,” cautioned Steve Grobman, Chief Technology Officer, McAfee.

Mignona Cote, Chief Security Officer, NetApp said recent years have observed a dynamic evolution in the cybersecurity landscape and the ever-growing complexity of cyber threats has required governments and enterprises to adopt a proactive and adaptive approach to security.

“Going forward, we will remain dedicated to staying ahead of emerging threats through innovation and strategic investments in cybersecurity,” added Mr. Cote.

When there is a fresh vulnerability available and it was somewhat easy to exploit and indulge in cyber intrusions, opined Chester Wisniewski, Global Field CTO, Sophos, a cyber security firm.

“I think we will see major governments around the world take more substantive action to thwart ransomware groups as people’s day to day lives are increasingly impacted when hospitals, schools, law offices, and banks are unable to operate due to cyberattack-related downtime,” Mr. Wisniewski added.

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