As per data from the cyber wing, the number of money-related offences, particularly credit and debit card frauds, have witnessed a substantial increase.
I think that the hike is because now, professional criminals have entered cyberspace and have made such frauds their vocation. They are using sophisticated means of deception. Besides, with the generation becoming more tech-savvy, more people use their credit cards for online purchases.
There is still a gap between the ideal security measures banks and financial institutions should adopt in order to ensure cyber security and the apparatus currently in place. And it is this gap that has been exploited greatly by cybercriminals.
Why do cybercrimes such as credit and debit card frauds remain largely undetected?
I would not say largely. I think cybercrimes are seamless and borderless. Because such crimes often cross jurisdictional boundaries of the police, it takes a while to detect them.
But the cases do get solved. There are several procedures involved and protocols to be followed such as approaching and seeking cooperation from our foreign counterparts. Cyber- criminals also take advantage of this. Even though the process gets delayed, it does meet success.
As per a government rule, no officer can stay in the same post for more than three years. Do you think this hampers the investigation of cybercrime as the expertise is lost with an official's transfer?
We do not follow that norm blindly. If an officer develops expertise - be it in any zone, say communications, surveillance, cybercrime - we ensure that he is retained in the concerned department for a longer time. The Bombay Police Act has provisions to accommodate this requirement.
With the constantly growing antics of cybercriminals, what are the cyber police doing to ensure security in the online space?
There are several ongoing programmes aimed at creating awareness on cybercrimes as well as enhancing the knowledge and expertise of our officers.
We have a dedicated cyber laboratory that is constantly developing the latest software to deal with cybercrime. In association with NASSCOM, we have been organising an annual cyber safety week since 2003.
This year, the safety week was extended to a month and several initiatives.