The United Indian
The United Indian

Privacy at Risk: Addressing Online Data Breaches in India

 data breaches in India

Fortify Your Digital Fortress

May 13, 2024

In an era where our lives are intricately woven into the digital fabric, the threat of online data breaches looms large. From personal information to financial details, our data is vulnerable to exploitation by cybercriminals. India, with its burgeoning digital landscape, isn't immune to these perils. But what happens when this data fortress gets breached? Data breaches, unauthorized access to sensitive information, are a growing concern in India. Let's delve into the complexities of data breaches in India, understand how your information might be exposed, and explore ways to fortify your defenses.


Understanding the Vulnerabilities

How Can Someone Access My Data?

Data breaches can occur in various ways, some more sophisticated than others. Here are a few common culprits:

  1. Phishing Attacks: Cybercriminals masquerade as trustworthy entities, tricking users into revealing sensitive information such as login credentials or credit card details. As per studies, this is one of the most common ways of data breaches in India.


  1. Weak Passwords: Using easily guessable passwords or reusing them across multiple accounts increases the risk of unauthorized access.


  1. Unsecured Networks: Public Wi-Fi networks or compromised home networks provide avenues for hackers to intercept data transmissions.


data breaches in India


4. Malware and Viruses: Malicious software can infect devices, allowing cybercriminals to access personal data stored on them.

5. Hacking: Malicious actors might exploit vulnerabilities in a company's systems to gain access to user data. This could involve phishing emails, malware, or even physical attacks on servers.

6. Insider Threats: Unfortunately, not all threats come from outside. Disgruntled employees or contractors might access and leak sensitive data leading to many cases of data breaches in India.

7. Accidental Leaks: Sometimes, human error can lead to data breaches. Unintentional sharing of data through unsecured channels or misconfigured systems can expose user information.

8. Third-Party Breaches: Even if a company has robust security measures, a breach at a third-party vendor they use can still put your data at risk.


Data Breaches In India

How Can You Prevent Data Breaches In India?


  • Strong Passwords: The first line of defense of data theft is a strong, unique password for every online account. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or pet names. Consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords securely.


  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA wherever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a secondary verification code, typically sent to your phone, in addition to your password.


  • Beware of Phishing: Phishing emails try to trick you into revealing personal information or clicking on malicious links. Be cautious of emails from unknown senders, even if they appear to be from legitimate companies. Don't click on suspicious links or attachments, and double-check website URLs before entering any login credentials.


  • Scrutinize App Permissions: Before installing any app, carefully review the permissions it requests. Does a flashlight app really need access to your location or contacts? Grant only the permissions absolutely necessary for the app's functionality.


  • Stay Updated: To prevent data theft, you must regularly update your operating systems, web browsers, and applications. These updates often include security patches that fix vulnerabilities hackers might exploit.


  • Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks are convenient, but they're not always secure. Avoid accessing sensitive information like bank accounts or credit cards while connected to public Wi-Fi. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for an added layer of security on public networks.


Data Breaches In India


Detecting Data Theft

How Can I Find Out If My Data Was Leaked?

  • Monitor Account Activity: Regularly review your account activity for any suspicious transactions or logins.


  • Check Data Breach Notification Websites: Websites like Have I Been Pwned allow you to check if your email address or username has been compromised in known data breaches.


  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on news reports and announcements from companies regarding data breaches. They often provide guidance on steps to take if you're affected.


Recent Cases Of Data Breaches In India

Recent data breaches in India have underscored the importance of robust cybersecurity measures:

  1. MOVEit Cyberattack : A research from Emisoft states that in May 2023, a ransomware gang compromised the security of over 2,000 companies globally by abusing a zero-day exploit. These included the BBC, British Airways, and the public education system in New York City.

Threat actors stole data from public, commercial, and government entities by using an attack in Progress Software's enterprise file transfer protocol, known as MOVEit transfer.


After the damage was done, the company published a patch for the vulnerability. Due to a breach on its systems, IBM was sued. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) mandated that public firms provide disclosures within four days of detecting a cybersecurity incident as a result of the attack and its aftermath.


data breaches in India


2. Juspay Data Breach (2021): Bengaluru-based payment gateway Juspay was another case of data breaches in India, compromising the personal data of over 100 million users. The breach exposed sensitive information such as card numbers, expiry dates, and cardholder names.


3. BigBasket Data Breach (2020): In 2021, online grocery giant Bigbasket faced a data breach exposing customer information including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and even hashed passwords. The breach reportedly occurred due to a vulnerability in a third-party vendor's system. This incident highlights the interconnectedness of the digital ecosystem and the importance of robust security practices across the entire supply chain.


4. Dominos India Data Breach (2021): A hacker collective claimed to have accessed the data of 18 crore orders from Domino's India, including sensitive information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses. This was another major cases of data breaches in India that questioned data safety.


data breaches in India

What to Do If Your Data Is Breached?

If you suspect your data has been compromised, here are some steps to take:

  1. Change passwords immediately! Don't wait - update your login credentials for all accounts where you might have used the same or similar passwords.


  1. Monitor financial accounts for suspicious activity. Keep a close eye on your bank statements and credit card transactions. Look for any unauthorized charges or unfamiliar activity. Consider requesting a new debit or credit card if you suspect fraudulent activity.


  1. Consider reporting the breach to CERT-In. The Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is a government agency responsible for cybersecurity. You can report suspected data breaches in India on their website


  1. Consider a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze restricts access to your credit report, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. You can place a freeze on your credit report with each of the four major credit bureaus in India: Credit Information Bureau (CIBIL), Experian, Equifax, and CRIF High Mark.

data breaches in India


Building a Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness

Data security is not just an individual responsibility. Businesses and organizations have a crucial role to play in protecting user data. Implementing robust security protocols, investing in employee training on cybersecurity best practices, and being transparent in the event of a breach are all essential aspects of building a secure digital environment.



As India continues its digital evolution, safeguarding personal data has become paramount. By understanding the vulnerabilities, implementing preventive measures, and staying vigilant, individuals can mitigate the risks associated with online data breaches in India. Additionally, prompt detection and response are crucial in minimizing the impact of breaches. By staying informed and adopting best practices, we can navigate the digital landscape with confidence, ensuring that our personal data remains secure and protected.

Read more in Technology

The United Indian