We are living in the era of Digital India. Events like demonetization, availability of free internet and the rise of digital wallets like PAYTM have changed how transactions are made in a very short space of time. Almost everybody from a small tea shop vendor to big restaurants have gone the cashless way. There are many advantages of cashless transactions – it is very easy to keep records, it is easy to tender exact change and more importantly, one does not have to carry a lot of cash around with them all the time.
There are also some disadvantages at times, like the problem with internet connection and the scope for human errors which might result in wrong payments. Because of these developments, our personal and financial information is everywhere on the internet. The need for cyber-security has increased more than ever before.
Cyber-security is the technique and system required to protect computers, networks, programs and any stored data from malware which can compromise the security in many ways. Malware is a type of software which is used by miscreants to damage or gain unauthorized access to a computer system or a network.
Not too long ago, we all used to protect our computers from viruses by installing antivirus software. The concept of a virus was different back then. It was just a program designed to cause disruption and damage to the computer systems because, well, some people are evil like that. But the access to the internet these days has changed everything. Cyber-attacks have become more target oriented and purpose driven. The transactions have gone digital and so has the crime. People using social networks, shopping websites and other digital transaction websites store at least some of their personal data on the web. It is not very difficult to get a digital profile of an individual by their browsing habits. Malwares can make use of such data to obtain an individual’s personal information like their address, their social security number, bank details and use it for theft and other illegal activities.
Cyber-attacks when done in a competent, organized manner, becomes much more dangerous. Not too long ago, many online banking accounts of the State Bank of India were hacked at once and many customers lost thousands of rupees. Hence, organizations these days are becoming more and more cautious. According to Forbes, the global cyber-security market reached $75 billion for 2015 and is expected to hit $170 billion in 2020.
As per the definition, cyber-security involves many techniques and systems to prevent one’s computer or data from malware. Organizations incorporate a whole secure infrastructure and form a team around it to prevent themselves from cyber-attacks.
As the good old saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’. This applies the same in regards to cyber-security as well. It is very difficult to survive without using the internet and smart devices these days. Cyber-security is as important as home and personal security. Keep your devices and data safe to stay out of trouble.