About seven out of 10 Indian consumers have faced tech support related scams, and a whopping 31 per cent of Indians who were targets of cyberattacks have lost their money, a recent study by Microsoft has revealed. This is also a cause for concern as no other country has lost so much money to cyber scams, the report added.
In its report titled “Microsoft’s Global Tech Support Scam Research,” Microsoft also tracked about 24 trillion threat signals originating in 2021 for potential malicious activity.
The findings were deliberated at a cybersecurity roundtable conference, which included among others, Rama Vedashree, CEO, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), and Mary Jo Schrade, Regional Lead, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, Asia. Discussions included, among others, on how an integrated security approach, cybersecurity skilling, and collaboration between the public and private sectors for analysis and sharing of threat intelligence would be foundational to defend India from these largescale cyber threats.
“Over the past few years, cybercriminals have been finding ways to exploit new vulnerabilities, driving the rise of cybercrime as an economy. Tech support scams especially are a growing challenge that needs industry-wide collaboration. It’s important to remember that cybersecurity is a team sport,” said Schrade.
Their discussion also focused on the growing cybercrime issues in India and how companies needed to invest in a strong security posture so that their data remains safe.
What Is The Present Situation?
The report revealed that millennials (those who are aged 24-37) were the most targeted group of such tech support scams. Approximately 58 per cent of those who had been scammed had incurred a monetary loss.
How Severe Was The Loss?
The report mentioned that 31 per cent of Indians who were targeted with these kinds of cyberattacks had lost their money. For comparison, in 2018, 18 per cent of the people who were targeted for a cyber scam in India had lost their money. The global average number of people who were targeted in a cyber scam and have lost their money stands at 7 per cent.
In monetary terms, the nationwide average figure for money lost in a cyber scam was Rs 15,334, and the average recovery was about Rs 10,797.
The report further revealed that about 22 per cent of people who were victims of a cyber scam had lost money in the range of Rs 7,500 to Rs 37,500. Only about 8 per cent people who had been victims of such cyber scams had lost money above Rs 37,501.
At 43 per cent, bank transfer was the most used method of getting people to transfer money to cybercriminals, the report further said.
Rama Vedashree, CEO, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), said, “Cybersecurity will be critical for every organisation going forward, and it’s important to remember that it is a shared responsibility. All of us, the government, public and private sectors need to collaborate to build a strong cybersecurity posture for India.”