Identity theft and internet security rank high among the top security concerns for the average Indian, according to a study conducted by American software giant Unisys. Findings from the Unisys Security Index for 2020 revealed that 83 percent of all Indians surveyed feared identity theft and ranked it as their top security concern, while internet security came second on the list.
Nearly 82 percent of respondents feared hacking, computer viruses and the security of their online transactions, which is seen as a nod to the high level of internet penetration in the country.
Indians rank high in risk-awareness
Overall, India registered a score of 223/300 among the 15 countries surveyed, which puts the country in second place when it comes to concerns surrounding personal, national, internet and financial security. Countries surveyed include the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, France, Belgium, Philippines, Australia and New Zealand, to name a few.
“The good news is that there is widespread awareness of security risks in the personal and digital realm with 8 in 10 Indians concerned about identity theft, computer hacking and viruses, bank card fraud and online transactions,” said Sumed Marwaha, managing director, Unisys India.
The need of the hour: identifying online scams
The findings also point to a changing dynamic in priorities among Indians, especially in the context of COVID-19, as more employees begin working from home and many others begin using the internet a lot more than usual for a host of applications, including financial transactions.
Unisys feels — given the relatively poor awareness surrounding cyber-security among Indians — employers must play a more active role in ensuring that their employees who work from home do not fall prey to cyber-attacks.
“Employers need to ensure that their people have secure direct access to applications, and are trained to identify and avoid malicious scams and phishing attacks designed to exploit the fears and distractions created by the pandemic and can quickly isolate devices or parts of the network to minimize the extent of a breach,” Marwaha added.
Incidentally, Unisys reported an 86 percent rise in cyber attacks on India between the months of March and April 2020. The study also says that women below 35 are more concerned about cyber-security than their male counterparts.