Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to ban the high-value denomination currency notes has given a major fillip to the digital payment ecosystem within India.
Paytm, a digital wallet platform, has registered a 435 per cent rise in its traffic and a 1,000 percent jump in online recharges in the two days following a ban on high value currency bills. Another mobile wallet Ola Money has reported a 1,500 per cent increase in recharges across the 102 cities of its operation since the day.
Despite India’s prowess in information technology, a major worry is that most banks and financial institutions have until recently underestimated cyber-security as a threat, says an industry expert.
“We even lack functional teams and strategic processes to respond in the event of cyber-security breaches. The general lack of awareness among the people compounds the problem,” says a top information security official with a leading payments security specialists firm.
Data and information security is particularly weak. Many firms take months before undertaking the required security upgrades.
“We have some of the least secure financial institutions across the world, and still use 15 year old Windows XP, which does not even get security patches anymore. The guidelines from the government on encryption etc. are also not clear,” he adds.
There is a need to upgrade cyber-security infrastructure as data from the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) shows a 69 per cent increase in cyber-crimes in recent years.
Phishing in particular has been a growing concern – over 11 million incidents were handled in the last three years. The actual numbers may be much higher. India lacks a consolidated crime data or a centralized directory recording crime numbers as law and order comes under the purview of states and union territory