A total of 50 incidents of cyber attacks affecting 19 financial organisations have been reported from 2016 till June, 2017, the government has said. Union minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir was responding to a question on whether there were reports of any cyber attacks on banking and other cashless network utilisation in the current digital era.

The government had on November 8, 2016 announced demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. “As per the information by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), 50 incidents affecting 19 financial organisations have been reported during the period of November, 2016 to June, 2017,” Ahir said.

He said the Reserve Bank of India issues guidelines on cyber security for banks. The Minister of State for Home Affairs added that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has created a dedicated digital payment division for protection of online payment.

To date, cyber security mock drills involving 148 organisations from different sectors, including the finance sector, have been conducted to assess the cyber security preparedness of these organisations, he said. “CERT-In has issued 21 advisories for security safeguards covering Point of Sale, Micro ATMs, electronic wallets, online banking, smart phones, unified payment interface, unstructured supplementary service data, RuPay, SIM cards, wireless access points/routers, mobile banking, cloud, Aadhar Enabled Payment Systems etc,” Ahir said.

A separate research and development fund for cyber security worth Rs 1,000 crore has been created, to be spent over a period of five years for upgrading technological capacity, he said.

In addition, the government has approved a central sector project namely Cyber Crime Prevention for Women and Children(CCPWC) with a total estimated cost of Rs 195.83 crore to provide infrastructure and capacity building to address cyber crimes, the minister said.

“The government is also encouraging financial institutions, industry and other critical sectors to earmark higher budgets in line with the international practices towards development and implementation of appropriate technologies, as well as bringing forth best practices for protecting their information and communication technologies,” he added.

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