Even though our banks escaped WANNACRY, We are still vulnerable to cyber attack

With India’s digital footprint on the rise, we are equally vulnerable to virus attacks and cyber crime as the rest of the world. Imagine a scenario wherein all Delhi metro Services were halted or the Aadhar information of millions of users was put to malafide use. All this, because of a ransomware virus. This is a reality with the rest of the globe now which is grappling with changes and havoc wreaked by the malware and ransomware virus wannacry. Luckily, India has remained largely unaffected and the best part is that it’s banking banking institutions have been sailing smooth. Experts attribute this development to a host of factors including the fact that we have been using systems that are less sophisticated and that turned out to be a plus for India.

Typically, this virus slows down systems or stops their functioning. It has already managed to impact at least 100 countries across the world. The malware comes from external systems which interact in some way or the other with banking systems. Media reports point out that the “WannaCry hackers have demanded payments of $200 to $600 (roughly Rs. 13,000 to Rs. 38,000) in bitcoins from organisations as well as individual users whose computers had been infected, or else the data would be wiped.”

Since the threat broke out, financial institutions have been keeping their IT teams on alert. They are monitoring all activities on the system and are quick to detect any glitches. The ATMs across the country too have been largely unaffected. This is principally due to the fact that they do not keep any back-up data. Also their geographic location has also worked to everyone’s advantage. According to media reports, Indian ATMs, which still majorly use the outdated Windows XP operating system, were feared to be the most vulnerable to hacking.

Malwares are large sized files which need data encryption to spread havoc. This means that they need high speed network. Fortunately, Indian banking systems currently work at low speeds which may have thwarted the malware at the start, itself.

The above facts spell good news. But this case also has some aspects for us to learn and the biggest lesson is that your system too can be vulnerable to attack.  If you think your system has been attacked let the cyber crime cops know of this and then immediately go off the internet, to prevent any more damage.

LESSONS  FROM THIS CASE STUDY

  • Loosen your purse strings and install a top quality firewall and anti-virus program on your system.
  • Maintain a regular backup of your data. It’s always a wiser choice to ensure that you have multiple backups instead of a single one.
  • Do not open an unsupported version of Widows.
  • If an unknown link or file surfaces on your system, do not open it.
  • Keeping making regular updates on your system.
  • Steer clear of pirated or undated version of operating systems.

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