Alarming as it may sound, according to a report by data security solutions provider Symantec, India ranks as the third highest source of overall malicious activity globally.

Terming India ‘A Key Threat Frontier’, the annual internet security threat report said 5.1 per cent of all malicious cyber activities in the world originated from India in 2013. At the top spot was the US (20.33 per cent), followed by China (9.93 per cent).

India is followed by Netherlands (3.52 per cent), Germany (3.26 per cent), Russia (2.63 per cent), UK (2.58 per cent), Brazil (2.53 per cent), Taiwan (2.45 per cent), and Italy (2.35 per cent), as per the report.

Moreover, India continued to hold its position as the spam capital of the world.

An interesting trend that the report points out is that newer industries, rather than the traditionally targeted industries, are low-hanging fruits for cybercriminals.

In India, 39.92 per cent or nearly four in 10 attacks were carried out on non-traditional services industries like hospitality, business and personal services. This was followed by attacks on manufacturing (33.33 per cent) and finance and insurance (11.11 per cent).

Cyber criminals, the report said, are unrelenting in their focus on large enterprises with a staggering 69 percent targeted attacks carried out against them. “Despite stepping up their information security measures, businesses in India continue to be an attractive target for cybercriminals,” it noted.

As the same time, it points out that small businesses received the highest number of phishing and virus-bearing emails — almost three times as much as the larger targets.

“Small and medium-sized businesses often have less adequate security practices and resources. Attackers are increasingly targeting smaller businesses that have a relationship with a larger company,” the report said.