Emerging cities, SMBs new targets for cyber crime: Symantec

Emerging cities like Surat, Indore, Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam face increasing risk of online attacks.

New Delhi: Emerging cities like Surat, Indore, Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam face increasing risk of online attacks as cyber criminals look to exploit the low adoption levels of security measures in these smaller cities, security software firm Symantec today said.
In its Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec said smaller and emerging cities like Cochin and Jaipur are increasingly facing the risk of cyber attacks, with 25 per cent of bot-infections in India reported in such cities.

A Botnet is a network of computers, controlled by one computer (bot herder), which attacks another PC and makes it a part of its network. The main drivers for botnets are for recognition and financial gains.

The report added that small and medium sized enterprises were also falling prey to advanced attacks, contrary to the perception that only large organisations are targeted for cyber crime.

"Augmented by broadband penetration, smaller and emerging cities of India are exploring opportunities offered by the virtual world, in turn, creating a new lucrative pool of targets for cyber criminals to exploit," Symantec Vice- President and Managing Director (India Product Operations) Shantanu Ghosh said.

Lack of awareness and low adoption of security measures makes these cities susceptible to cyber threats and warrants greater vigilance in protecting information assets, he added.
According to the report, more than 50 per cent of the targeted attacks were directed at organisations with less than 2,500 employees, and almost 18 per cent target companies had less than 250 employees.

These organisations may be targeted because they are in the supply chain or partner ecosystem of a larger company and because they are less well-defended, the report said.

Also, 58 per cent of attacks targeted non-executives and employees in roles such as human resources, public relations, and sales, it said.

Individuals in these jobs may not have direct access to information, but they can serve as a direct link into the company, the report said, adding that they are also easy to identify online as they are used to getting proactive inquiries and attachments from unknown sources.


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