Experts stress on need for enhanced security

by Prasad Krishna last modified May 20, 2017 06:13 AM
With more and more people falling prey to phishing scams, experts believe that lack of adequate security features in online payment systems will only increase the number of such cases in the coming days. While admitting that the rise in such crimes would be hard to stop or control, cyber security consultants also blame the lack of preparedness before taking the digital economy route as a cause for such problems.

The article was published in the New Indian Express on May 6, 2017. Pranesh Prakash was quoted.


Speaking to Express, Dr A Nagarathna of the Advanced Centre on Cyber Law and Forensics, National Law School of India University, said that apart from the push for digital payment solutions, the merger of various State Bank entities also provided chances for criminals to exploit gullible people.

“People tend to give away critical information since cyber criminals seem so convincing. But they should remember that banks never collect such information over phone,” she said.

The cyber security features of banks and e-wallets are also questionable. Banks and e-wallet service providers should be held accountable for such crimes, so that they make an effort to ensure necessary safety measures, she said.

Pranesh Prakash, Policy Director at the Centre for Internet and Society, noted that there were security concerns with e-wallets. “Many e-wallet apps compromise on security in favour of convenience, but, at the same time, have terms of service that hold customers liable for financial losses.  There have been many reports of criminals working with rogue telecom company employees to clone SIM cards and steal money via UPI and BHIM,” he said.

He also criticised the use of biometrics as the only factor for authorising payments to merchants using Aadhaar Pay.  He noted, “Your fingerprints cannot be changed, unlike a PIN. So, if a merchant clones your fingerprint, you cannot revoke it or replace it the way you can with a debit card and a PIN.”

Another activist said the recommendations of Watal Committee, which looked into digital payments, should be implemented. “As of now, the law does not focus on the need for consumer protection in digital payments. The Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, needs to be updated,” he said.

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