Fear and Loathing — Security in Cashless India

  • One of the key things that we can do to reduce the impact of this cyber-driven personal finance apocalypse is to educate people. The Government must use simple messaging in multiple languages and anecdotes to constantly educate and keep people aware of the possible security issues that they will face. This is not as easy as it sounds. Any education initiative is met with boredom, skepticism and more boredom. Education like this has to be relevant AND CONSTANT. Sporadic adverts is not going to help. They have to find ways of educating not only the bread-earning folks, but kids as well. Kids are a huge influence on parents and educating them about security dangers is a sure-fire way of getting their parents to take notice. In addition, technology companies, banks and the like must step up their education initiatives and educate their customers on the dangers of these financially driven cyber-crimes. Currently, banks send a lot of communication on phishing. But they are extremely boring and don’t inspire action. Education has to be kept relevant, simple and anecdotal. And finally, education must begin at home. If you are a relatively tech-savvy person navigating a cashless society, you should take the initiative of educating your family and friends about these malicious acts that can affect their lives and pockets deeply.
  • “Payments” in India is a burgeoning industry. Payment and Fintech startups have received a great deal of funding, media attention and government support. However, I still find security to be an afterthought in most of these companies. They still adhere to a simple “check in the box” approach to security mostly to satisfy guidelines and regulatory requirements. This is the time that these companies need to step up to the plate. They need to make security more usable and think about security as part of their user experience and not just a regulatory mandate from RBI or PCI-DSS. They can leverage ideas from Blockchain and Cryptocurrency to create a far-more secure, yet usable experience for their users.
  • I don’t have any data for this, but I feel that insurance companies must offer some kind of cyber-liability and offer it along with the individual’s bank. This will strengthen the assurance that people will get from their bank. This can be incentivized with low premiums for people who maintain strong security practices and so on. While this may not be a huge play for the aam aadmi, it will definitely help alleviate the concerns of several thousands of users in a cashless society.

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CTO of we45 (An AppSec Company), DevSecOps Greasemonkey, Passionate Security Technologist and Creator

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Abhay Bhargav

Abhay Bhargav

CTO of we45 (An AppSec Company), DevSecOps Greasemonkey, Passionate Security Technologist and Creator