We live in a wonderful new world. Smartphones have ushered in a new digital age where the Internet is instantly available to everyone. With developments such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the metaverse and especially artificial intelligence (AI), we are now living in a ‘new’ new digital age.
The distinction between the real world and the digital world is blurring by the day, especially in technologically advanced societies. India is no exception. Currently, 840 million Indians are online, and by 2025 another 400 million are expected to enter the digital world.
Digital technology adoption accelerates in India
India is India, so some of the numbers are really mind-boggling. Internet connectivity has increased by 250% over the past nine years. The cost per gigabyte of data has dropped a whopping 96% for him. Under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana financial inclusion campaign, Indian banks opened his 500 million new accounts and his 330 million through his RuPay, India’s financial services and payment system issued a debit card.
Today, India is the global leader in digital payments, with 90 million transactions in 2022. The instant payment system, Unified Payments Interface, has so far recorded transactions worth 35 trillion rupees ($430 billion). A staggering 46% of the world’s digital payments are made in India.
India has issued 1.38 billion Aadhaar national ID cards, creating the world’s largest digital identity system. This made it possible to vaccinate 2.2 billion people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not just the scale, but the pace of digitization is staggering. In the last five years the trading volume he has increased 50 times. With over 600,000 kilometers of fiber optic cables already installed, India has become a digital nation overnight. It is also unique in establishing a public-private partnership to build an open-access digital public infrastructure for its citizens. US internet pioneers applaud India’s approach.
India boldly claims independence with new technology
Global risk in the digital world
New technologies create new criminal opportunities.
International Criminal Police Organization Global Crime Trends Summary for 2022 report Declared that ransomware, phishing, online fraud, hacking, and online child sexual abuse “expect very high escalation going forward.” Terrorists now use the dark web to hide their identities and spread extremist content. They use cryptocurrencies to move money. The metaverse also creates new opportunities for propaganda, recruitment and training. AI is making deepfakes more difficult to identify.
Cyberattacks, especially ransomware and distributed denial of service attacks, are causing “disruption, data breaches and economic loss,” according to Interpol. Digital extortion has become the latest form of blackmail. Critical information and financial systems are at significant risk. Given that much of our life is now digitized, disrupting online networks such as banks, airlines and identity systems could bring nations to a standstill. Worst-case digital disruption scenarios could include plane crashes, missile launches, or worse.
2019 was a hot topic report Accenture estimates that cybercrime could cost the world $5.2 trillion over the next five years.
In a nutshell, the risks are immediate, serious and growing.
We need to establish ground rules for internet governance and public digital infrastructure security. Governments need to define digital ownership more precisely, monitor the dark web, and provide guidelines for responsible AI use.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has outlined a unified cyber strategy for the country. This includes building capacities, systems and expertise across the country to deal with cyber threats. Instead of chasing a horse that jumps out of a gate, detection and prevention are key.
But no country can control cybercrime alone. The international community should work together to develop uniform legal standards and best practices. When it comes to cybersecurity benchmarks, we need a global cooperation, not a unilateral one. This improves interoperability, reliability, and reduces agency protocol and resource gaps. Sharing real-time cyber threat intelligence across governments is essential. Indeed, governments alone cannot achieve cybersecurity. It also requires the active involvement of companies.
Together, we must create a world of cyber success, not a world of cyber failure. The possibilities of new technology must outweigh the risks.united in the spirit of Vasdive Kutumbukam—Making the world one family—Creating a safe and prosperous digital future for all.
[This piece is based on a speech given by Home Minister Amit Shah at the G20 conference on “Crime and Security in the Age of NFTs, AI and the Metaverse” on July 13, 2023, in Gurugram, India.]
[Anton Schauble and Lane Gibson edited this piece.]
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Fair Observer.