In pursuit of cybersecurity

December 27, 2022 | 05:48 IST

In pursuit of cybersecurity

Goa Director General of Police (DGP), Jaspal Singh, during the recent Ideathon themed “Implications of 5G Technology for Law Enforcement”, said the launch of 5G services will lead to an increase in cyber crimes in the state.

Although a startling revelation, the harsh reality had to be shown to the people in order to prepare the population for the enormous potential of technological advances and how they can be misused.

The ‘Jamtara’ web series has very objectively portrayed how the tricks of siphoning people off have been improvised in the country’s post-demonetization economy. The use of online banking and app-based financial transactions has increased several times and hence has the means and options to scam people with advancements in technology.

Herald reported that in South Goa district alone, 49 cases were recorded in the first 10 months of this year and hundreds of thousands of rupees were diverted from people’s bank accounts.

It is not only individuals but also Indian businesses that have been the victims of the threat of cyber crime. According to the Check Point Threat Intelligence report earlier this year, the most vulnerable sectors in India with the highest weekly attacks over the past six months were education and research with 4,762 cases, healthcare with 3 093 cases, internet service providers with 2,097 cases, government and military establishments with 2,796 cases, insurance and legal industry with 2,431 cases, manufacturing with 2,072 attacks, and utilities with 1,822 attacks. cybercriminality.

As crimes have multiplied, investments in countering cyber threats have multiplied. As reported by the Financial Express in November, India’s cybersecurity industry nearly doubled, with revenue from cybersecurity products and services rising from Rs 5.04 billion in 2019 to $9.85 billion in 2021, according to a report. of the Data Security Council of India (DSCI).

After years of scrutiny for being branded as India’s cybercrime hub, Jamtara of Jharkhand has launched a “Police Ki Patshala” (police academy) campaign. The campaign is organized in the 118 district panchayats by the police with the help of the district administration.

The police try to educate young people about the impact of cyber fraud on society and the economy as well as the legal consequences. However, the thrust of the campaign has been to provide an alternative for educated young people to prepare for competitions and take up respectable jobs. The campaign is worth emulating in other states that have their own cybercrime centers.

Therefore, although there is a sharp increase in the number of cases, the focus may be as much or much more on providing educated young people to contribute to the country’s economy. However, with an unemployment rate of 8% nationally and 13.6% for Goa, then arises the question of what opportunities there are for young people to pursue respectable livelihoods as per the law.

On the other hand, with constant leaks of exam papers and jobs for cash scams uncovered almost across the country, the approach to real job options is bleak and one is compelled to look for alternatives. Besides the risks of legal consequences, those involved in cybercrimes are aware that the benefits of being in the business are also significant. Furthermore, the political-police-criminal nexus that guarantees poor quality investigations into the majority of crimes leads to delayed judgments, most of which result in acquittals.

Jamtara has shown that flowers can bloom even in troubled waters, but a real political effort with equally strong legislations is the need of the day. India ranks 10th in the global cybersecurity index, however, in its quest to become the global hub for investment, the country will need to step up its efforts on technological security.

The Ministry of Information Technology, in coordination with the legal department, should spearhead legislation that will tighten the noose around scammers. Until then, raising public awareness and providing alternative employment opportunities are the only options that would divert the flow of talent away from the scam business.

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