2021 a year of ransomware; financial cos need to be on toes for cyber resilience: NCSC Pant

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National Cyber Security Coordinator Rajesh Pant on Wednesday called 2021 a year of ransomware as there has been a massive surge in such attacks across the globe and companies have paid ransom of around $1 trillion in the first half of the current year. Pant cautioned financial sector companies to step up their efforts in putting up cyber resilience to save themselves from cyber attacks.

“The way 2021 has started, I would call it a year of ransomware. We are only half way through this year and already $1 trillion has been paid in ransom. 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 shared an industry estimate according to which cyber crimes have incurred USD 6 trillion loss to the global economy.

“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 since the last couple of months,” Pant said.

He said the bill is on the lines of European data protection law.

The draft Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 restricts and imposes conditions on the cross-border transfer of personal data, and suggests setting up of Data Protection Authority of India to prevent any misuse of personal information.

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 cyber security strategy to be also cleared by the Cabinet soon.

“National cyber security 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.

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