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Companies Paid $1 Trillion as Ransomware in First Half of 2021: India’s Cybersecurity Chief Rajesh Pant

Experts have estimated that cyber attacks have increased by more than 148 per cent. Statistics showed that a cyberattack took place every 11 seconds according to the Cybercrime Magazine while the average ransom fee increased from $5,000 in 2018 to around $200,000 in 2020 according to the National Security Institute.

Companies have paid close to USD 1 Trillion as ransomware in 2021 alone (Source: Pixabay)

New Delhi: Companies around the world have paid USD 1 trillion as part of ransomware in the first half;f of 2021 alone, said the National Cyber Security Coordinator Rajesh Pant on Wednesday. He added that 29021 was the “year of ransomware” and financial sector companies need to ramp up efforts in cybersecurity to save themselves from such attacks.

“The way 2021 has started, I would call it a year of ransomware. We are only halfway through this year and already USD 1 trillion has been paid in ransom. The financial sector will have to be absolutely on its toes to ensure that all the efforts required for cyber resilience are put into place. All your mitigation, recovery techniques etc,” Pant said at an IAMAI virtual event.

He added that cyberattacks have caused an estimated loss of USD 6 Trillion to the global economy.

Pant also hoped for the Data Protection Bill to b introduced in the Parliament.

“In the financial sector, data is very important. You are holding sensitive and personal data. You all are aware of the Personal Data Protection Bill. I am hoping that it is introduced after the JPC has been discussing it for the last couple of months,” Pant said.

He said that the government has designed the bill on the lines of the European data protection law.

The bill calls for the establishment of the Data Protection Authority of India whose main aim would be to stop the misuse of data by any entity.

It also introduces restrictions on and imposes conditions on the cross-border transfer of personal data.

The draft is based on the recommendations of a government-constituted panel headed by Justice B N Srikrishna.

The draft provides for a penalty of Rs 15 crore or 4 per cent of the total worldwide turnover of any data collection entity, including the state, for violation of personal data processing provisions. Pant said he expects the national cybersecurity strategy to be also cleared by the Cabinet soon.

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“National cybersecurity strategy has been submitted to the Cabinet for final approval. As in when that comes out you will find that the entire ecosystem is being addressed, all aspects that have been changing from earlier 2013 policy. It is a very futuristic strategy,” he said.

With inputs from PTI

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