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Last Updated : Jan 21, 2020 08:19 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Will cashless India be A secure India?

Leveraging possibilities and addressing the threats in the digital economy of India


Nikita Agarwal

The Indian economy has witnessed vast changes with the intriductin of the ‘Digital India’ campaign and Demonization leading to the transformation of the banking sector too. To exalt the traditional banking system and reduce corruption, technology has been increasingly embedded. Smart banking has inculcated rural-urban connectivity, 24*7 service, fast and hassle-free transactions, transparent conduct and enriched customer experience.

Digital Payments have largely paved way for small businesses and startups as well, e.g., Paytm NITI AYOG shares that, Indian digital payments market is expected to escalate to USD 1 trillion by 2023.

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As the iconic superhero says, “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility”. The sheer weight of digital payments causes concern for security, risks, and solutions.

Digital Security Dynamics

Cyberspace is limitless and constantly evolving, thus digital banking threats are also disruptive and ever-changing. Most prominent menaces include device-based breach, phishing, Trojans, ransomware, cyber spying, etc. In January 2018, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus confessed that a cyber attack may have compromised credit card details of up to 40000 oneplus.net users. Basic precautions are taken to make digital banking secure, like 2-factor authentication, passcodes, KYC, strong password recommendation, e-wallets, and app encryption, etc. EMV chip cards and virtual cards are encouraged to prevent card loss or cloning. These measures still lack efficiency, e.g., UIDAI Aadhar software suffered a major data violation in terms of leakage personal information of 1.1 billion Aadhar cardholders owing to an attack in 2018.

Digital Payment Security has been highly supported by government bodies and their reformatory actions confirm the same. E.g., the Digital Payment Suraksha campaign was launched by the Data Security Council of India with the Ministry of Information Technology along-with Google India. It aims at spreading digital payment security awareness and providing a platform to contemplate the best solutions. Additionally, the CERT-Fin wing was launched under CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) to protect the cybersecurity in the financial sector. The body aims at forecasting cyberattacks through predictive analysis and alerting the businesses beforehand.

Progression in 2020

Experts in the industry opine that some simple measures can uplift the digital payment security, like Biometrics, where fingerprint and Iris scan can aid better authentication. These are already emerging as reliable mothods in the market. E.g., UK based NatWest bank marketed 1st ever biometric bank card that confirms and verifies payments beyond £30. Critical account information masked through undetectable tokens will largely minimize frauds and data theft. Well-encrypted wearables can provide a portable and secure banking alternative. E.g., Mastercard approved Armillion bracelet. Digital Payment ecosystem can be safeguarded via a durable infrastructure that includes upgraded software capable of handling cyber threats.

In 2020, digital security might face new challenges, but the joint effort of banks, government and financial units and people can tackle the risks. After all, as the American Cryptographer Bruce Schneier rightly said, “Security is not a product, but a process.”

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First Published on Jan 21, 2020 08:19 pm
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